Elizabeth Holmes testified Monday that sexual harassment while a Stanford student made her decide to drop out of school at the age of 19 and commit herself to starting her failed blood test, Thelanos.
"I was raped while in Stanford, and I decided to get involved in the construction of Theanos," said the former CEO with tears in his eyes. "I didn't go to class, and I was wondering how I was going to process that experience. And I decided I was going to make a living by building this company."
The account, which came at a time when Holmes was testifying as part of a defense in a fraud case, has sparked a series of questions about Holmes' relationship with her ex-boyfriend and COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, a co-defendant in a fraud case.
Holmes revealed that Balwani, 20, trained him to use a strict daily routine, told him he had to control his body movements and behaved like a businessman, and forced him to have sex with her, "because he said he wanted me. To know he still loved me."
He has denied all allegations of abuse.
"Balwani told me that I did not know what I was doing in the business and that my sentences were wrong, he was surprised at my smallness and if I followed my mind, I would fail," he said.
"I needed to kill the person I was, to be what he called 'the new Elizabeth' in order to be a successful businessman," Holmes said.
Holmes said Balwani was in control of their personal relationships and work, reading aloud in court and presenting documents that the two had exchanged.
"I formed you," Balwani sent a message in May 2015.
"Now I can be yours. There is no question. Absolutely," he replied.
Balwani dismissed the allegations.
Evidence has tied together two previously different accounts from his media coverage and evidence of the case. One portrait was of Holmes as a strong, loving, and demanding leader. Another, according to an application filed by his defense attorney the night before the trial, as a victim of an abusive partner and a professional.
His attorney led him with questions that distanced himself from allegations of lab failure.
"Who was responsible for managing the lab?" asked defendant attorney Kevin Downey.
"Sunny Balwani," said Holmes. He oversaw all “business aspects” of the lab, testifying, adding that clinical and scientific decisions were the goal of the lab director.
Looking directly at one of the major issues raised by the prosecutor, Holmes disputed previous witnesses and said that he never claimed that small Theanos diagnostic equipment was used on military helicopters during the war.
Thelosos had signed a contract with the Army to carry out a limited trial, but the company was unable to complete the device according to its definition in time, Holmes said.
Holmes said he was "trying to show that we are doing a lot of work in building this new device for use with medevacs," but he did not specifically say that they were used that way.
Investors such as the DeVos family office, the founder of a biotech investment firm, and an independent investor who invested $ 6 million in his and his family's testimony attest to Holmes' words about doing business with the military as part of their decision to invest millions. .