Elizabeth Holmes Testifies She Was Abused By Ex-Partner Balwani

On Monday, Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes testified that she was abused by her former romantic partner and Theranos executive Ramesh Balwani. She said the relationship had a pervasive impact on her during the period when she is accused of committing fraud. 

There were moments during Holmes’ fourth day on stand when she struggled to speak about her ten-year-long relationship with Balwani, whom she first met when was 18 years old and he was 38. 

Holmes said that throughout their relationship, Balwani verbally abused her and forced her to have non-consensual sex. She also said that, at their home and in text messages, Balwani told Holmes she would never succeed with Theranos if she did not “kill the old Elizabeth”. Holmes said Balwani told her to follow an intense regime that involved waking up at 4am, following a particular diet, and maintaining a laser focus on her goals. 

Balwani has denied the allegations against him in court filings and has labelled them “false and inflammatory.” 

Holmes and Balwani have both pleaded not guilty to criminal charges for allegedly lying about Theranos’ technology that could supposedly run diagnostic tests more effectively than traditional lab testing.

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