'Keep fighting': Elizabeth Holmes got a pep-talk text from her then-boyfriend and former COO Sunny Balwani as Theranos faced growing federal scrutiny
- Prosecutors have released more texts between
Theranos' Elizabeth Holmesand Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani.
- The texts are from around the time of Balwani's departure from Theranos as president and COO.
Prosecutors in Elizabeth Holmes' fraud trial have released more text messages between the Theranos founder and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, her ex and the company's former president and COO, offering a glimpse into their past romantic relationship and internal workings at the now-defunct blood-testing startup.
The messages, sent from 2013 to 2016, range from the mundane, including flight details and food orders, to the zealous.
Here are some notable exchanges from the newly released messages:
- "Missing my heartbeat," Balwani wrote in April 2016. "Ditto times a million," Holmes replied.
- "Infinite love for you in every breath," Balwani told Holmes later that month.
- "You live in my eyes. I see you everywhere. Pray we get time of joy and happiness and carefreeness like birds soon," Balwani told Holmes in a couple of texts in April 2016.
- "'In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.' Maya Angelou," Holmes said in an April 2016 text. "I agree. There is no love for me like yours. Which is why it's hard to breath without your breath near me," Balwani responded.
- "You have my love in every breath. And in every cell and every heartbeat," Balwani told Holmes in May 2016, just days after departing Theranos.
Their relationship is expected to be key to Holmes' defense. Her attorneys previously indicated they may accuse Balwani of intimate partner abuse, arguing that Holmes wasn't making her own decisions at the time the government alleges she acted to defraud investors, doctors, and patients.
"They don't show abuse or any kind of difficulty between the two of them," said Michele Hagan, a legal analyst and former prosecutor, of previously released texts between Holmes and Balwani. "One of the defenses possibly could be that she didn't have the intent to defraud because she was being controlled and abused by Balwani. In that case, you would anticipate you would see some kind of control issues at work. But those texts don't indicate that."
Other messages, sent after Balwani's departure from the company in May 2016, show Balwani giving Holmes a pep talk on keeping Theranos alive amid scrutiny from federal regulators and the media.
- "Your presence on earth is proof of God's presence. Stay strong and focus on building business and turning the negative around thru science and publications and submissions," Balwani said in June 2016. "I completely agree with that plan," Holmes sent back, along with a happy face.
- "I know things are tough but don't give up on your dreams. Keep focused and keep fighting. Plan, focus, stay organized and stay in control. One person who has a plan and executes can defeat an army. I know what you are thinking and going thru. Control your thoughts and don't let fear control you. Breathe and in every hour be conscious of your breath and breath out fear. Whatever you decide and whatever happens is in gods hands. But your focus, attention, thoughts and breath is in your control," Balwani added in a series of messages also from June 2016. "I love this," Holmes responded.
You can find all of the newly released texts here.
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