Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Thinks She Has a Chance at Redemption

February 21, 2019, 11:24 AM UTC

While she faces federal fraud charges and up to 20 years in prison, Elizabeth Holmes thinks people will give her another shot if they can hear her side of the story.

The founder of blood-testing startup Theranos, who raised more than $700 million from investors for technology that was little more than a pipe dream, has recently held meetings with filmmakers regarding a documentary, Nick Bilton writes at Vanity Fair. She also desperately wants to write a book.

“Elizabeth sees herself as the victim,” a former executive close to Holmes tells Bilton.

Should the book or movie ever come to fruition they’re set to prove once and for all that truth really is stranger than fiction. According to a January filing, the Justice Department has nearly 17 million pages of documents to comb through and could file more charges against Holmes, her business partner and former boyfriend Sunny Balwani and even others close to them.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Bostic said in court recently that the “story is bigger than what’s captured in the [original] indictment,” and that it “doesn’t capture all the criminal conduct” the investigation has uncovered, adds Bilton.

In many ways, Holmes’ story is just too weird to not become a blockbuster movie. A Stanford University dropout who founded a biotech company in 2003 at age 19, she became the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world and was knighted as “the next Steve Jobs” by Silicon Valley and publications including Fortune.

Theranos’ concept centered around cheap blood tests that could be carried out quickly from just one drop of blood — a potentially revolutionary development within the healthcare industry. There was just one snag: the technology didn’t work, a fact Holmes did everything in her power to hide.

Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou started uncovering the true breadth of the fraud in 2015 and went even deeper in his book Bad Blood.