Days before Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will stand trial for alleged felony fraud in San Jose, the judge released an edited document on Saturday showing that she will claim that her former lover and company president Sunny Balwani abused and abused her. Coercion.
“For more than ten years, Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani have been in an abusive intimate partnership, in which Mr. Balwani processed Ms. Holmes psychologically, emotionally and (edited)ly,” a document from the Holmes legal team say. “This pattern of abuse and coercive control continued during the alleged conspiracy.”
A court document submitted by Holmes’ legal team also mentioned her “potentially debilitating” symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The 2020 document issued by the Balwani team on Saturday also indicated that Holmes would file a “sexual abuse charge” against him.
Balwani’s lawyer responded to Holmes’ previously sealed claim in a document last year, stating that he “categorically denied Ms. Holmes’ allegations.” Her legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the document just released.
According to court documents, Holmes “may prove why he believed in, relied on and obeyed Mr. Balwani.”
Holmes and Balwani are charged with more than a dozen fraud charges in connection with the now-defunct Palo Alto blood testing startup that she dropped out of Stanford University in 2003 and will stand trial in the San Jose District Court in the United States. The selection of the jury for the Holmes trial will begin on Tuesday.
Prosecutors accused Holmes and Balwani of claiming that the Theranos machine can perform a full range of tests on a few drops of blood on the fingertips, but they know that the technology is unreliable, inaccurate, and can only perform a limited number of tests. The government claimed that “hundreds” of patients were defrauded and investors were defrauded of more than $700 million. Holmes and Balwani denied these allegations.
The allegations of abuse are related to the proposed trial testimony of psychologist Dr. Mindy Mechanic, a relationship trauma specialist who examined Holmes. Holmes’ lawyers stated in a document that the mechanic’s testimony will cover mental conditions that affect the “guilt problem.”
A letter from Attorney Holmes to Attorney Balwani stated that the mechanic would tell the court and jury of Balwani’s “intimate partner violence/abuse” of Holmes. The mechanic will also comment on “developmental, historical, and psychological factors that make Ms. Holmes particularly vulnerable to the trauma she has suffered” and “Mr. Balwani’s use of abuse strategies and psychological influences that allow him to exercise control over her.” “Testified in relation to Ms. Holmes during this relationship and in relation to the alleged conspiracy. “
A document submitted by the Holmes team regarding her claim to be “intimate partner abuse” stated that the victim may surrender to the abuser in order to increase her chances of survival or reduce the risk of “escalation of abuse or violence.”
The Justice Department said that according to reports, Holmes gave birth to a child last month and faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of 2.75 million US dollars, plus possible compensation.