PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) — Another unique chapter in the Elizabeth Holmes saga happened recently when one of the prosecution’s star witnesses showed up at her house “disheveled” and “desperate,” according to court documents.
Holmes’ boyfriend, Billy Evans, said a former Theranos blood lab director unexpectedly arrived at their Woodside home begging to talk to Holmes on August 8, court documents state.
Holmes’ defense attorneys seized the moment between Evans and the distraught lab director, Adam Rosendorff, to request a whole new trial. Attorneys filed the request in federal court on Tuesday.
Rosendorff testified against Holmes longer than any other witness during her three-month-long trial before she was found guilty of fraud. Despite his lengthy time on the stand, Evans did not recognize Rosendorff initially.
“He came to the front door and rang the doorbell. He is a big guy and my first thought was he was lost, he looked disheveled. His shirt was untucked, his hair was messy, his voice slightly trembled. He said he needs to talk to Elizabeth,” Evans wrote in court documents filed by Holmes’ defense team.
Holmes was convicted by a jury in January of defrauding wealthy investors who poured millions of dollars into her Silicon Valley biotech company. She has been living quietly in a Woodside mansion with Evans and their 1-year-old baby ever since. Holmes, 38, is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in October.
Rosendorff “desperately” wanted to talk to Holmes and help her, according to Evans, before she is sent off to a federal prison.
“I told him … he needed to leave. He kept saying he needed to talk to her. He said he thought it would be healing for both himself and Elizabeth to talk. He said he feels guilty, it seemed like he was hurting. He said when he was called as a witness he tried to answer the questions honestly but that the prosecutors tried to make everybody look bad (in the company). He said he felt like he had done something wrong,” Evans wrote.
“He said Elizabeth was kind to him. He said that everyone has made so much money off of her and this story they create but she didn’t make any money,” Evans wrote.
Holmes famously dropped out of Stanford University to found Theranos with promises of revolutionizing blood testing. In 2014, she graced the cover of Forbes magazine as the youngest self-made billionaire in America. The rise and fall of her unicorn company inspired HBO’s documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley,” and “The Dropout” on Hulu.
Rosendorff said Holmes was “broken” by America similar to how Michael Jackson was torn down, according to Evans. Holmes’ boyfriend did not allow the former Theranos blood lab director to speak with Holmes before he left, court documents show.
“Under any interpretation of his statements, the statements warrant a new trial,” Holmes’ attorneys wrote. At the very least, the judge should order an evidentiary hearing where Rosendorff can testify about his concerns, her defense team stated.
Holmes is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila on October 17 in San Jose.
Rosendorff was one of the whistleblowers who anonymously leaked information to the Wall Street Journal and blew the Theranos scandal open in 2015. Halfway through Holmes’ trial, former WSJ reporter John Carreyrou revealed that Rosendorff was his “Deep Throat.”
Holmes’ defense team turned Rosendorff into a scapegoat for what went wrong at Theranos. Defense attorney Lance Wade repeatedly told the jury that Rosendorff was legally responsible for making sure blood tests were accurate before endorsing the tests’ accuracy. As lab director, he was also responsible for keeping the lab in compliance with federal regulations.
Rosendorff testified he had “many battles” over the blood lab with Sunny Balwani, who was the company’s Chief Operation Officer and Holmes’ secret boyfriend at the time. Balwani was convicted by a separate jury on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy earlier this year.
Rosendorff said he left the company because of concerns over patients receiving questionable blood test results. “Over time, I came to realize the company really valued PR and fundraising above patient care,” he testified.