Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former executive director of the Theranos Center, is leaving the U.S. Federal Court in San Jose, California on May 6, 2021.
Nina Riggio | Bloomberg | Getty Images
In the case of Elizabeth Holmes, it seems that any advertisement is not a good advertisement.
Attorneys for the former Theranos CEO cite widespread negative media coverage as a reason to add to the pool of jurors in their upcoming criminal trial.
A 21-page motion filed late Thursday set out examples of extremely descriptive and unflattering stories about Holmes in recent years.
“The advertising is consistently negative,” said Holmes lawyers. In addition, she is “routinely mentioned in derisive and inflammatory terms directly relevant to the cable fraud charges in this case. Media coverage describes her as” fraud, “” cheater, “” cheater, “” more ashamed Theranos Founder “. Cheater and an angry psychopath.
Holmes requests an extended subpoena from the jury and has proposed a written questionnaire for the jury. Holmes attorneys wrote, “Media coverage also addresses adverse tropes and recurring issues, often related to Ms. Holmes’ behavior, voice and physical appearance.” They say the negative publicity dates back to at least 2015 and “has focused intensely on Ms. Holmes personally, not just the circumstances surrounding the dissolution of Theranos’ company”.
In the court record, Holmes’ lawyers said they conducted a comprehensive search of news articles and other media that generated 462,000 entries. These included 3,755 results from “Negative Personal News” and 2,862 results from “Negative Business News”.
Holmes attorneys proposed a 46-page jury questionnaire covering topics ranging from working in the blood test or the medical industry to experience in the venture capital world.
The questionnaire also asks whether the prospective juror has ever been a victim of fraud, had a bad experience with an investment, or was involved in a dispute over misdiagnosis.
Holmes left Stanford at the age of 19 and founded Theranos. He claimed his technology could accurately perform thousands of tests on just a drop or two of blood. The former executive has pleaded guilty to under a dozen fraud charges relating to misleading patients and investors.
The judge has scheduled a court hearing on June 15th. The jury selection is scheduled to begin in San Jose on August 31st.