Elizabeth Holmes, the woman behind the now defunct blood-testing company Theranos, goes on trial this week for fraud, after claiming her company could provide rapid blood tests using a much smaller amount of blood than conventional tests. Her claims were proven false and Holmes as well as former Theranos president Ramesh Balwani were charged with fraud.
Trial documents released on Saturday and obtained by NPR show that Holmes’ defense team plans to claim that Balwani, who is also her ex-boyfriend, emotionally and sexually abused her, which she and her attorneys claim impaired her thinking at the time that she was defrauding patients and investors with Theranos.
“This pattern of abuse and coercive control continued over the approximately decade-long duration of Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani’s relationship, including during the period of the charged conspiracies,” Holmes’ attorneys wrote in one court filing.
To bolster their claims, NPR reported, Holmes’ attorneys plan to call Mindy Mechanic, a psychologist and expert in intimate partner abuse.