A key witness in the January trial that led to multiple convictions for disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was back on the stand Monday to revisit his testimony, part of an effort by Holmes’ lawyers to secure a new trial for the 38-year-old Stanford dropout.
Holmes’ lawyers were granted the hearing after claiming that one-time Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff visited Holmes’ residence after the criminal trial and told William Evans, Holmes’ partner and the father of her 1-year-old-son, that he was remorseful about the role he played in her conviction.
But instead of recanting or revising his previous testimony, Rosendorff confirmed to U.S. District Judge Edward Davila that “... all times I testified truthfully and honestly to the best of my recollection” during Holmes’ trial.
And, during questioning by Holmes’ attorney during Monday’s hearing, Rosendorff took it a step further.
“The government was trying to get to the truth of what happened — what Elizabeth Holmes did,” Rosendorff said, per The Associated Press. “I don’t want to help Ms. Holmes. The only person that can help her is herself. She needs to pay her debt to society.”
Davila didn’t rule Monday on Holmes’s bid for a new trial after the hearing, which lasted more than an hour, per The Wall Street Journal. Lawyers said they would file additional comments before the judge makes his final decision.
What is the Theranos case about?
Back in January, a federal jury convicted Holmes on four of 11 charges of fraud and conspiracy against investors who poured hundreds of millions of dollars into her blood testing startup that made claims that were never backed up by the technology.
Holmes launched the startup that would become Theranos in 2003, and it grew to attract over $1 billion in investor cash along with a slew of positive media coverage and high-level appearances for the founder. At one point, Theranos was valued at $9 billion and Holmes’ stake in the company made her a multibillionaire at the time. That valuation and the related attention were driven by Theranos’ claims that it was innovating a new, high-tech blood testing system that would be able to perform dozens of different types of blood tests from a single pin-prick sample. The device would eventually be put into use but it was later revealed that those claims were spurious. The system could only do a handful of tests and the company covertly used testing equipment made by other companies for assessments that its own innovation could not accurately perform.
The high-profile trial came years after Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou unveiled in a series of articles published in 2015 and 2016 that the reality of Theranos blood testing technology fell far short of claims made by Holmes and her one-time boyfriend, Sunny Balwani, who was also Theranos’ president and chief operating officer.
Holmes and Balwani were tried separately this year and Balwani was convicted on 12 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy in July. If Holmes is unsuccessful in her pursuit of a new trial, she is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 18. Balwani’s sentencing is currently slated for Nov. 15.
How to read/watch/listen and learn more about Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos saga
The meteoric rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos has spawned a slew of accountings across platforms including books, podcasts, television shows and movies.
Here’s a few worth checking out:
“Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” (book)
John Carreyrou is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who leveraged his reporting for the Wall Street Journal on Theranos into an engaging book that became a national bestseller. Here’s what the New York Times Book Review said: “Chilling ... Reads like a thriller ... Carreyrou tells (the Theranos story) virtually to perfection.”
“The Inventor: Out For Blood in Silicon Valley” (documentary)
In March, HBO premiered a documentary from Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney that breaks down the rise and fall of Theranos. According to the “Critics Consensus” on Rotten Tomatoes, the film “declines to outright condemn the actions by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, but instead provides a comprehensive overview of the scandal that allows viewers to mull over its implications towards the broader Silicon Valley.”
“The Dropout” (podcast)
ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, along with producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson, take listeners on a journey that includes a multiyear investigation. “The Dropout” includes exclusive interviews with former employees, investors and patients, as well as never-before-aired deposition testimony of Elizabeth Holmes, and those at the center of this story, according to the producers. The podcast earned a 4.8/5 rating from the collective reviews on Great Pods.
“The Dropout” (TV show)
Inspired by the podcast of the same name and starring Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes, Rolling Stone said the Hulu series is packed with great performances.
“Much more than most depictions of vast conspiracies, ‘The Dropout’ nails the ‘vastness,’ illustrating how a charismatic leader, even one as magnificently awkward as Holmes, could make people buy their snake oil and ignore increasingly unavoidable realities,” wrote Rolling Stone chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg.
“Bad Blood” (movie)
Still in production, Apple Studios is working on a movie adaptation of the Carreyrou book that will star Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes with direction by Adam McKay, who previously helmed the film adaption of Michael Lewis’ smash nonfiction bestseller, “The Big Short.” No release date for “Bad Blood” has been made public at this time.