In her final statement, Elizabeth Holmes slams ex Sunny Balwani.

Disgraced Elizabeth Holmes, the creator of Theranos, closed the final day of testimony in her criminal fraud trial by again attacking her ex-boyfriend and former No. 2 executive, stating that his emotional abuse hampered her ability to operate the firm.

The former CEO, who risks up to 20 years in prison if convicted, blamed Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani for much of Theranos’ deceit, despite admitting that she was the sole decision-maker.

Holmes, 37, testified before the defense rested on Wednesday, addressing questioning from her lawyer Kevin Downey and casting Balwani as a swindler who took advantage of her relative inexperience.

“Who was your most trusted advisor?” Downey inquired.

“Sunny was,” Holmes responded, denying that she defrauded patients and financiers out of millions of dollars while intentionally developing a flawed testing gadget to profit herself.

Holmes also told the court that she “tried not to combust” Balwani, Theranos’ president and chief operating officer, in their text-messaging correspondence.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Robert Leach, Elizabeth Holmes denied defrauding patients and investors out of millions of dollars.

“Sunny would frequently let off steam or vent through text,” Holmes explained. “I was attempting to be helpful.”

Downey inquired of Holmes whether Balwani had condemned Theranos personnel as “incompetent.”

“He did,” Holmes added, noting that Balwani had criticized her performance as well.

Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani
During her evidence, Elizabeth Holmes blamed her ex-boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani for much of the fraud at her biotech business Theranos.Holmes, who was intimately connected with Balwani for almost a decade, described their split as “a trauma.””He showed up at the church I used to attend at night and at the Dish, where I used to run about Stanford,” Holmes explained. “The locations I’d go to while I wasn’t at work.”Shifting blame to Balwani, 56, who Holmes claims tortured her physically, mentally, and sexually, has been a crucial aspect of her argument. Balwani has vehemently refuted the charges. Next year, he will face a separate trial.
Ramesh Balwani
Elizabeth Holmes depicted Ramesh Balwani as a Svengali who took advantage of her youth and inexperience. Balwani has refuted Holmes’ claims.

Earlier in her statement, Holmes told the panel that being raped while a student at Stanford University drove her to drop college and focus her efforts on developing the firm. When she eventually began dating Balwani, she testified, “he assured I was safe now that I had met him.”

However, she went on to say that Balwani reportedly continued an abusive cycle in which he regulated most aspects of her life, including how she operated Theranos.

Holmes, who is over 20 years younger than Balwani, said that Balwani taught her on how to conduct and speak, and encouraged her to follow a tight daily schedule and diet.

Elizabeth Holmes, center, enters the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building with her partner, Billy Evans, right, and her mother, Noel Holmes, in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. Looking on at far right is John Carreyrou, the former Wall Street Journal reporter who wrote the October 2015 story that exposed flaws in Theranos' blood-testing technology.
Elizabeth Holmes will appear in court on December 7, 2021. The accused founder and CEO of Theranos testified in her own defense for seven days on allegations that she cheated investors and patients by pushing a failing blood-testing technology.”He told me that I didn’t know what I was doing in business, that my convictions were incorrect, that he was astounded by my mediocrity, and that if I followed my instincts, I would fail,” Holmes stated. She continued, “Who I was was never going to be a person who would flourish in life or business, therefore I needed to kill this guy and become a new Elizabeth.”He would compel me to have sex with him when I didn’t want to because he said he wanted me to realize he still loved me,” Holmes sobbed.Ramesh Balwani allegedly emotionally tortured Elizabeth Holmes, impairing her capacity to lead Theranos.
Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes (Center) walks with her mother Noel Holmes (Left) and her partner Billy Evans (Right) as they arrive for Elizabeth Holmes's trial at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building on December 07, 2021 in San Jose, California.
After Holmes brought in outside advisers and lab directors, Balwani left the company in 2016.

If convicted, Elizabeth Holmes (middle) faces up to 20 years in jail.In the closing moments of her testimony on Wednesday, Holmes repeated that she never tried to deceive investors, although admitting that they lost money while she was in charge.”I wanted to change the company’s impact on people and health care,” Holmes explained. “There were long-term investors present, and I wanted to speak about what this company could do a year from now, five years from now, and ten years from now.”The trial’s closing arguments are scheduled to commence on December 16.

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Akanksha Jain

Akanksha Jain love to learn new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for Startup, Business sections of Editorials99.

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