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World NewsTheranos founder Holmes blasts Sunny Balwani before defense rests

Theranos founder Holmes blasts Sunny Balwani before defense rests

Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos Inc., leaves federal courtroom in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In her last effort to try to sway the jury in her prison fraud trial, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes blasted ex-boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, her former second-in-command, for emotional abuse that affected how she operated the corporate.

Holmes, 37, spent seven days on the stand, finally turning into the star witness of her personal defense. She’s combating 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Holmes, who faces as much as 20 years in jail if convicted, has pleaded not responsible.

On Wednesday, throughout her last hours of testimony, Holmes fielded questions from her legal professional, Kevin Downey. While Holmes acknowledged that she was the last word choice maker, she blamed Balwani for a lot of what transpired.

“Who was the most important advisor to you?” Downey requested.

“Sunny was,” Holmes mentioned.

Holmes advised the jury that she “tried not to ignite” Balwani of their correspondence, which was continuously by textual content message.

“Sunny would often blow off steam or vent through text,” Holmes mentioned. “I was trying to be supportive.”

A courtroom sketch exhibiting Elizabeth Holmes testifying on Nov. twenty second, 2021.

Courtesy: Vicki Behringer

The defense rested late Wednesday morning. Closing arguments are anticipated to start on Dec. 16, in a trial that began with jury choice in late August. Balwani, who faces the identical costs as Holmes, is about to face trial early subsequent yr.

In Holmes’ case, the federal government referred to as 29 witnesses, together with traders, ex-employees, sufferers and enterprise companions. Holmes was the third and last witness referred to as by her defense crew. She adopted former Theranos board member Fabrizio Bonanni, who testified that Holmes tried to enhance the corporate after it got here underneath regulatory scrutiny.

Blaming Balwani

Sunny Balwani, former president and chief working officer of Theranos Inc., leaves federal courtroom in San Jose, California, Oct. 2, 2019.

Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“He showed up at the church I would go to at night and at the Dish, which is where I used to run around Stanford,” Holmes mentioned. “The places I would go outside work.”

Downey ended his questioning by asking Holmes a couple of key allegation in opposition to her — whether or not she ever supposed to mislead traders.

“Never,” Holmes replied.

Downey requested if she acknowledges that traders misplaced cash.

“I do,” Holmes mentioned.

“Was that a result of you attempting to mislead them?” Downey requested.

“Of course not,” Holmes replied.

In her final phrases to the jury, Holmes restated her unique imaginative and prescient for Theranos.

“I wanted to change the impact the company could make for people and for health care,” Holmes mentioned. “There were people that were long-term investors and I wanted to talk about what this company could do a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now.”

As she stepped down from the witness stand, Holmes turned to her proper and appeared on to the jury field, the place eight males and 4 girls have listened to a few months of testimony contained in the San Jose courtroom. In the approaching weeks, they may resolve Holmes’ destiny.


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