Elizabeth Holmes’s digital footprint was littered with hyperbolic statements, countless emails between her legal team and investors, an epic trip to Carnegie Mellon University to write a thesis and lots of data showing that she was spending lots of time in college, in her office and at Starbucks with friends.
The chief executive of Theranos, an embattled blood test startup, made an exhaustive effort Monday to put a sock-puppet-style fake name in the hole — Newcomer — that Wall Street hates and the press loves most.
All this and more was dug up by Holmes’s lawyers at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck during Day 2 of an ongoing fraud trial against her by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Holmes’s narrative on Monday was mostly cemented, whether it be anecdotes about a New York Times editor (the alumnus of one of Holmes’s former law firms) in her time with Theranos or trips to Disneyland and plush beanbags with children (instead of using ironing boards and paper towels as urine screens).
Holmes’s attorneys did not play the hit card, however. The Wall Street Journal has been detailing all sorts of issues from the beginning of Theranos, which are the foundation of the SEC’s case.
Meanwhile, during her testimony on Monday, Holmes blamed Theranos’s 2015 acknowledgement of malfeasance on “constant” decisions by the press.
“We asked everyone to come up with the story as to how the story about Theranos started,” Holmes testified on Monday. “There are more than 100 reporters and reporters who work for us and 10 to 15 who work for The Wall Street Journal who are very excited and know how to write a story.
“It is easy to do that with a company with only 500 people.”
Holmes was on the stand for approximately 14 hours. She was typically restrained but at times appeared flustered. She stated that Theranos was “very different from us” today.
On the stand, Holmes claimed that Theranos didn’t learn of the problems with its clients’ tests from the media. That doesn’t square with the evidence that has been introduced during the trial.
Holmes’s testimony was much thinner today than on Monday. She spent more time on visual aids than on actual facts. One fact that was discussed in detail but left unspoken was that Holmes cut off her hair a year after she did her thing in Virginia. In all likelihood, that was not something that Holmes spent much time on under her aforementioned veil of secrecy.
Holmes only had five written witness testimonies.
Judge Esther Salas seemed impressed with Holmes’s effort.
“In my experience, what she’s done so far is tremendous,” Salas said on Monday. “I commend you for it.”