- These messages could thwart Elizabeth Holmes’ plans to throw Ramesh Balwani under the bus and accuse him of emotional and sexual abuse, which compromised her judgment during the time of the alleged crimes.
Texts shared between Elizabeth Holmes, founder and chief executive of Theranos Inc., a private health care and life sciences company, and her former boyfriend and former president and COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, filed in court on Sept. 7, could play a key role in the highly anticipated case. Prosecutors released six pages of text correspondence from the former couple which shed light on their past relationship and efforts to manage crises threatening the company. All the messages released in the filing were sent between May and July 2015.
Business Insider shared a series of texts.
“You are breeze in desert for me. My water. And ocean,” Holmes wrote in one series of texts to Balwani. “Madly in love with you and your strength,” Holmes texted Balwani later that evening. “CCed on you terrible negative review from someone from Newark lab probably bugs lab. Working on getting that removed,” Balwani said in a text. “I saw it. We’ll get them,” Holmes responded. (Theranos used to have a lab in Newark, California.) “Feel like the luckiest person in the world BC I have you,” Holmes texted later that day. “We will come up with good response to the questions and we can turn this around,” Balwani said in another message. “Need to get ahead of all of it. Out of al challenges are greatest opportunities,” Holmes texted. “Once and for all transcend all the bs,” she added later. “All my love,” Balwani wrote. “Missing you infinite,” Holmes replied.
“The texts paint a picture of a couple who are loving, value each other’s thoughts, and are mutually engaged in a common pursuit,” Cheryl Bader, a law professor at Fordham Law School and former assistant U.S. attorney, told Business Insider. “I think the jury will read these texts as evidence of a coequal partnership in a close and loving relationship.”
According to the Business Insider report, some of the other texts from the filing show discussions between Holmes and Balwani on “strategies to undercut concerns raised by former Theranos employees, including the whistleblowers Tyler Shultz and Erika Cheung.”
These texts could thwart Holmes’ plans to throw Balwani under the bus and accuse him of emotional and sexual abuse, which compromised her judgment during the time of the alleged crimes.
An earlier court filing revealed that Holmes planned to argue that Balwani’s alleged mental abuse resulted in several mental health conditions, including intimate partner abuse syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. As per the court paper, Holmes is expected to argue that Balwani’s actions were equivalent to “dominating her and erasing her capacity to make decisions,” including her ability to “deceive her victims.”
Holmes and Balwani were originally charged in June 2018 on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. According to the indictment unsealed on June 15, 2018, Holmes and Balwani had engaged in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors and a separate scheme to defraud doctors and patients, and both schemes entailed promotion. If convicted, each of them could face 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000, plus restitution, for each count of wire fraud and for each conspiracy count.
The trial has been delayed multiple times by the COVID-19 pandemic and by the birth of Holmes’ child on July 10 of this year.
Balwani faces similar charges in a separate trial scheduled for next year.