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Elizabeth Holmes says actors are playing a ‘character I created’ in dramatisations of her downfall

Amanda Seyfried portrayed the former biotech CEO in Hulu’s ‘The Dropout’

Tom Murray
Tuesday 09 May 2023 05:57 BST
The Dropout Trailer

The disgraced former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has addressed the dramatisations of her downfall in a new interview.

Holmes was found guilty in January last year of defrauding investors out of more than $100m (£79m) in her blood-testing start-up.

The rise and fall of her Silicon Valley biotech company was dramatised in Hulu’s 2022 miniseries The Dropout starring Amanda Seyfried in the lead role. Later, it was reported that Jennifer Lawrence had dropped out of playing homes in a film adaptation after seeing Seyfried’s performance.

In a controversial new interview with The New York Times, Holmes claimed that the dramatic interpretations of her personality were based on a “character” she created.

“They’re not playing me. They’re playing a character I created,” she said.

Holmes was known for cultivating a Steve Jobs-like image, whom she frequently referenced as an inspiration for her business.

Amanda Seyfried in ‘The Dropout’ (left) and Elizabeth Holmes

“I believed it would be how I would be good at business and taken seriously and not taken as a little girl or a girl who didn’t have good technical ideas,” said Holmes, who founded Theranos at 19. “Maybe people picked up on that not being authentic, since it wasn’t.”

The NYT has come under fire on social media for offering the ex-CEO an attempt at restoring her image through the interview.

Holmes was convicted in 2018 of fraud. She later stood trial in 2021 and was found guilty in January the following year of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Her business partner and ex-romantic partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was also convicted of fraud.

Last month, Holmes delayed starting her prison sentence by filing yet another appeal over her conviction.

She had been due to self-report to a prison camp on 27 April to begin the 11.25-year sentence she was handed.

Her lawyers informed US district judge Edward Davila that instead of entering prison she appealed a decision he made earlier in April ordering her to begin her sentence.

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