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Theranos founder Holmes blasts Sunny Balwani before defense rests


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

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In her last effort to attempt 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, in the end changing into the star witness of her personal protection. She’s preventing 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 lawyer, Kevin Downey. Whereas Holmes acknowledged that she was the last word choice maker, she blamed Balwani for a lot of what transpired.

“Who was a very powerful advisor to you?” Downey requested.

“Sunny was,” Holmes stated.

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

“Sunny would typically blow off steam or vent by way of textual content,” Holmes stated. “I used to be making an attempt to be supportive.”

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

Courtesy: Vicki Behringer

The protection rested late Wednesday morning. Closing arguments are anticipated to start on Dec. 16, in a trial that began with jury selection in late August. Balwani, who faces the identical prices as Holmes, is about to face trial early subsequent 12 months.

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

Blaming Balwani

A key side of the protection has been the shifting of blame to Balwani, who Holmes claims abused her bodily, emotionally and sexually. Balwani denies the allegations.

In earlier testimony, Holmes informed the jury she determined to commit her life to beginning Theranos after she was raped whereas a scholar at Stanford College.

The federal government stated it plans to file a movement to strike a part of Holmes’ testimony, together with her allegation of sexual assault whereas at Stanford. Robert Leach, an assistant U.S. lawyer, informed the decide the testimony was irrelevant to the case for the reason that protection selected to not name a psychologist as a witness to testify about Holmes’ mindset as CEO.

On the stand on Wednesday, Holmes informed the jury it took her awhile, however she ultimately realized that circumstances in sure components of the corporate managed by Balwani had been worse than she’d been informed.

Downey requested Holmes if Balwani criticized workers at Theranos “as being incompetent.”

“He did,” Holmes stated, including that Balwani was additionally crucial of her efficiency.

Balwani’s lawyer, Jeffrey Coopersmith, declined to remark. Holmes, who was romantically concerned with Balwani for over a decade, testified that their breakup was “a course of.”

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

Michael Brief | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

“He confirmed up on the church I might go to at evening and on the Dish, which is the place I used to run round Stanford,” Holmes stated. “The locations I might go outdoors work.”

Downey ended his questioning by asking Holmes a few key allegation towards her — whether or not she ever supposed to mislead traders.

“By no means,” Holmes replied.

Downey requested if she acknowledges that traders misplaced cash.

“I do,” Holmes stated.

“Was {that a} results of you making an attempt to mislead them?” Downey requested.

“In fact not,” Holmes replied.

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

“I wished to alter the impression the corporate might make for individuals and for well being care,” Holmes stated. “There have been those who had been long-term traders and I wished to speak about what this firm might do a 12 months from now, 5 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. Within the coming weeks, they may resolve Holmes’ destiny.

WATCH: Elizabeth Holmes’ trial nears completion