It was expected that Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes would heap blame on her ex and business partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. But the rape and sexual assualt accusations were stark, and actually explain her “deep voice” bit.
We knew coming into the Elizabeth Holmes Theranos fraud trial that she was going to try to pin it all on her ex-boyfriend and business partner, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. But we learned on Monday that Holmes took the stand and said Bulwani raped her several times over the course of their business and personal relationship. And now that more details of that testimony are coming out, and honestly, Holmes explains her deep voice we’ve all made jokes about in a way that makes us a little remorseful about mocking her voice.
According to testimony transcribed by CNN, Balwani insulted Holmes' real voice in meetings, saying she sounder "like a little girl" per her testimony. Holmes also testified Monday that "He told me that I didn't know what I was doing in business, that my convictions were wrong, that he was astonished at my mediocrity," and added that he told her that "I needed to kill the person I was."
She also detailed her rape allegations on the stand against Bulwani, who is 20 years her senior. She testified he would “get very angry with me, and then he would sometimes come upstairs to our bedroom and he would force me to have sex with him when I didn't want to, because he would say that he wanted me to know that he still loved me,” she said, in tears, according to the New York Times.
This may get some sympathy from the jury, but legal experts aren’t sure it’s nearly enough to justify a myriad of other intentional fraud. Consider that Holmes also admitted on the stand Tuesday that she tried to get Wall Street Journal owner Rupert Murdoch (also a Theranos investor) to kill the Journal’s exposé on Theranos, and in other cross-examination, admitted she knew that company whistleblowers were correct.
Bulwani, for his part, has previously denied any form of abuse toward Holmes. His trial will be separate, and is slated to start in January 2022.
Image: SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes along with her partner Billy Evans (R) leave the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building on November 23, 2021 in San Jose, California. Holmes is facing charges of conspiracy and wire fraud for allegedly engaging in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors with the Theranos blood testing lab services. (Photo by Ethan Swope/Getty Images)