Elizabeth Holmes’ former professor: I want her in an orange jumpsuit w/ a black t-neck

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Some people can lie with a straight face and be convincing. Those people are often called sociopaths and narcissists, which I’m convinced is the case for Theranos scammer Elizabeth Holmes. We just discussed the HBO documentary The Inventor, which chronicled Holmes’ rise from Stanford dropout at 19 to perpetrator of a billion dollar medical technology fraud. Holmes’ idea, to run multiple medical tests on small amounts of blood, was wishful thinking with little basis in science. When Holmes ran an earlier idea by a Stanford medical professor, Dr. Phyllis Gardner, she was told that it was impossible. However Holmes ignored her and shopped around until she found a professor willing to support her. When scientists and engineers at Theranos told Holmes that there were setbacks limiting the capacity of the Edison machines she promoted like they already existed, she fired and demoted them, surrounding herself with yes people. Those are the marks of a narcissist, who discards those who are no longer useful.

Dr. Gardner has consistently spoken out against Holmes to her colleagues, even when Holmes was covering magazines and being lauded as a health care evangelist. In an interview with Business Insider, Gardner explains how she warned people about Holmes, and how she wants her to be convicted for the scam she perpetrated.

Gardner came back into the Theranos story when Richard Fuisz, a family friend of Holmes’ whom Gardner had met when she worked in healthcare at ALZA, reached out to ask for her opinion of Holmes. She was frank with him.

“I don’t trust her,” she recalled telling Fuisz. “I don’t know what she’s up to.”

Theranos and Fuisz eventually went to court over a patent dispute, a difficult experience for Fuisz and his family. Gardner and Fuisz stayed in touch, eventually connecting with Rochelle Gibbons, the widow of Ian Gibbons, the chief scientist at Theranos who killed himself in 2013.

The group would text about what they were hearing about Theranos, especially in light of the company’s partnership with Walgreens, in which it set up clinical labs in certain pharmacies in Arizona to perform its finger-stick tests…

Stanford students would ask to invite Holmes to speak as a female founder, but Gardner wouldn’t allow it.

“I support women. I always have. I’ve gotten in trouble for it. I’ve pushed hard,” Gardner said. “But I’m not going to support a fraud – I don’t care what your gender is…

“I just want her convicted,” Gardner said of Holmes. “All I want is to see her in an orange jumpsuit with a black turtleneck accent.”

[From Business Insider]

Dr. Gardner is awesome, she called Holmes for what she was back when everyone was buying her black turtleneck Cold Case hair hype. As for Holmes’ fate, I bet Holmes and Sunny Balwani will receive sentences that are about a year or two and then they’ll be out in six to nine months on good behavior. I hope I’m wrong. Vanity Fair did a profile of Holmes last month. They quoted an insider who said she sees herself as a victim and that she’s currently engaged to a younger man who comes from a wealthy family. She also hopes to write a book and to put out a documentary with “her side of the story.” Jennifer Lawrence is set to play her in the movie Bad Blood, directed by Adam McKay (Vice, Anchorman).

Check out her Hermes bag
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78 Responses to “Elizabeth Holmes’ former professor: I want her in an orange jumpsuit w/ a black t-neck”

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  1. Alissa says:

    cold case hair killed me. what’s with her wide eyed stare all the time? also, I like this Dr Gardner.

    • Skyblue says:

      Cold Case hair! Brilliant description. I just finished listening to the podcast The Dropout which is infinitely more illuminating than the HBO documentary. That said, I’m enjoying the documentary and find myself gagging at times watching the open-mouthed adoration bestowed on Elizabeth Holmes by the old white dudes. Baffling really. For some reason, seeing Errol Morris so googly-eyed over her made me especially ill.

  2. teehee says:

    Id never heard her voice until yesterday. OMG, how ridiculous!! Did anyone fall for that??

    You can tell shes pulling her throat downward on the deepest tones/larger pronunciations, obviously shes putting that on.

    To an extent I can understand, but thats just nonsensically fake.

    • Alissa says:

      I just googled video of her talking and started tackling. between the black turtleneck, the fake deep voice, and the wide open eyes, she was really trying to sell something huh. hilarious.

    • DML says:

      There are some great videos of her breaking into her real voice during interviews. It was all a fake, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she had blue color contact lenses in. Not that there is anything wrong with that just that her whole image down to her voice was fake.

    • Harryg says:

      Yeah her voice is creepy. Crazy person. Hope Dr. Gardner is in that movie, she’s more interesting than Holmes! McKay is a good director, it’ll be a good movie.

  3. Erinn says:

    I’m not normally into the really luxury bags… but I really like that one.

    I haven’t actually followed this story at all – I kept seeing it pop up on my news feed on my iphone but there were so many other things popping up that I never go around to reading about it.

    What a f-ing mess. I mean – the idea sounded really cool, and she’d really moved up in the world at a young age – which is impressive. But when everyone around you is telling you that it can’t be done (or shouldn’t be done… or an invention already exists) you can’t afford to fire the ones who’s ideas you hate. You can’t just surround yourself with yes-men. But at the same time – she fell to the same dumb “buying your own hype” that SO many men have fallen to. And instead of learning from past failures she fell right into it as well. The annoying part is she’ll probably get more of a punishment out of it than men have – but at the same time, it shouldn’t matter. People who pull this kind of crap do deserve their comeuppance regardless of past cases.

    • Original T.C. says:

      She’s a pretty, young, do-eyed blonde. She will serve less time than a man. There are exceptions to sexism, usually White women who traditional old White men fall for. That’s also another reason she fooled so many wealthy and otherwise intelligent men.

      • Veronica S. says:

        It’s actually a prime example of sexism – attractive white women seen as less dangerous and incapable as a man would be, and therefore they must be infantilized and cared for. It just happens to benefit her appeal in court.

      • ichsi says:

        This. The amount of time I’ve spent trying to explain to people that this is sexism too, even though she would profit from it, oh my God…

    • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

      She’s getting more of a punishment because she was fucking around with medical services. If this was just every day computer tech stuff, then it wouldn’t be as big a deal. But her company was falsifying bloodwork tests and selling/performing them in pharmacies. Tgats a big fat nope.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      That Birkin was paid for by fraud.

      • Some chick says:

        Yep. If I were one of her investors, seeing that would really piss me off! “Well, I need a nice briefcase for meetings.” Riiight.

  4. Lizzie says:

    i’ve never said this before but i’m really looking forward to jennifer lawrence’s portrayal of holmes. i think she she is going to nail it. and i don’t think anyone has done serious social satire as well as adam mccay since mel brooks. he’s a genius and this movie is a going to be outrageously good.

    • Agenbiter says:

      Such meme-worthy moments Lawrence will be able to generate with the voice, eyes and Cold Case hair!

      Think Holmes uses that voice with her new wealthy boyfriend?

    • BorderMollie says:

      I have to disagree on Lawrence. I don’t think she has the chops to pull this off. In anything she’s in, I’m very aware I’m watching her on screen rather than her character.

  5. mycomment says:

    just an fyi… the board of directors of theranos:

    henry kissinger, former secy of state
    bill perry, former secy of defense
    george schultz, former secy of state
    bill frist, former senate majority leader
    sam nunn, former senator
    gary roughhead, former navy admiral
    james matthis, former marine corp general
    dick kovocovich, former ceo of wells fargo
    riley Bechtel, former ceo of Bechtel
    william foege, epidemiologist
    elizabeth holmes
    sunny balwani

    investors (who lost their investments) include:
    betsy devos (reportedly $100 million)
    the walton family (reportedly $150 million)
    rupert murdoch (reportedly $125 million)

    • Bryn says:

      So she completely fooled a bunch of old white dudes and Betsy devos…this story is so ridiculous. They should probably all be in prison

      • Lizzie says:

        i actually think she didn’t fool them. i think they are all corrupt and didn’t really give a shit if the science worked – they just knew their return on investment would be astronomical if it took off. these people are rich rich. a hundred million dollars on an investment that could make them a billion is literally money they throw around all day. ts like giving someone a $5.

      • mycomment says:

        careful… i got called out in a previous post when i noted all the mostly old white dudes — and didn’t include balwani… who was also president and coo and holmes bangee. ;-)

        i hope each and every one of them is called to testify on the due diligence and oversight they provided…

      • Megan says:

        This explains why old white men want to control women’s bodies and sexuality. Apparently a young, attractive woman can hypnotize even the smartest and most successful men into believing complete and utter BS.

      • Veronica S. says:

        The problem is that she fooled a lot of innocent patients and medical professionals, too. That’s the problem with hustlers – at the end of the day, they hurt plenty of people who don’t have wealth stockpiled nearby to bounce back.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      Thanks for those details. She’s like Trump – she suckered everyone and kept lying and lying with nothing to back up her stories. Those wealthy people all WANTED to view her as some wunderkind who would make them even richer. She was full of shit from the beginning and STILL managed to get incredibly far. The baby face like Zuckerberg, the blonde like a FOX news presenter, the phony impossibly smart persona – all apparently irresistible.

      • lee says:

        Per the book, Don Lucas absolutely wanted and believed all of those things about her but there were a couple of people on the board who saw through her and were pretty much forced off. Lucas kept all of the ccruciall information a board would need to make critical decisions about her leadership and the direction of the company out of site. He willfully buried information the board should have been given all along. He should absolutely be in jail. The others didn’t get the info until it was too late.

    • Esmom says:

      Omg. Too many stories that have me truly frightened for the future of this country, the world, and this is definitely one of them. What the f%^& have we done, elevating these people to such powerful positions?

    • adastraperaspera says:

      So sketchy! Wonder why these rich, well-connected people keep ending up on big projects together? And why so interested in data from blood profiles? I suspect something to do with the secretive Council for National Policy group at work maybe. Who knew so many people decided that Dr. Evil from the movies would be a good role model for their life goals?

      • adastraperaspera says:

        One more thing I wonder. Elizabeth Holmes is not a genius. Who really came up with this scheme? And was the goal money, data, something else? It’s far too complex to be just her pet project. It feels like she’s always just been the salesperson.

      • leela says:

        No, this is all Holmes. She’s a narcissist. Aside from the money, there’s the prestige. The idea is revolutionary – just a single drop of blood to diagnose many diseases. It does not take a genius to come up with a brilliant idea – but genius is necessary to put that idea into reality. Like you said – she is not a genius. She sold her idea and she employed a stable of scientists to put her idea into reality. They can’t and she lied about it. Its that straightforward. As her former professor said, she was just around 18 or 19 when she started shopping her idea around.

        These rich, well-connected people keep ending up on big projects together precisely because of that – they have the capital. People with ideas court them to fund projects.

      • adastraperaspera says:

        @leela She sounds like quite a terrible person, for sure. I wish people like her would put their brains and power to good, instead of pushing snake oil.

      • BorderMollie says:

        In the podcast, a former employee was openly wondering whether this project was some kind of government set up, and I honestly thought he might have a point. Maybe this was supposed to be the original version of those ancestry tests, ie a massive data collection front for feds. The sheer number of high ranking military officials who were on that board is suspect.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Yeah, there’s some big names, but think about the applications of a device like this. Of course government was interested in it. You could use it on foreign deployment to cut down the need for doctors in certain areas, for instance. Use it in hospitals to reduce staff costs. Not to mention all of the more unfortunate ways technology of that magnitude could be programmed against a populace…

    • Himmiefan says:

      I’m very surprised at Bill Frist since he’s a physician.

  6. Jenns says:

    I think Mira Sorvino should play her and use her Romy voice.

  7. BlueSky says:

    Yeah she will get off with a light sentence. She’s probably already concocting her next grift.

  8. Iknow says:

    I was just listening to the podcast on my way in to work. Dr. Gardner really had her number and Elizabeth knew this, so what did she do, she went to old, male, white men. Who only saw a young, white female they believed they could mold. Elizabeth is really pathological. From a young age, she was groomed to believe that her family needed to regain their power and she was going to be the one to bring them back. Everything about her was fradulent!

  9. Ader says:

    In Gibney’s doc, Gardner’s facial expressions and inflections sang volumes. She was so, clearly, unimpressed and incredulous that these so-called “captains” of industry and government and academia fell for Holmes’ shtick.

    • Esmom says:

      I didn’t see it but Gardner sounds like a real hero.

    • Some chick says:

      Somehow I didn’t catch that the doc was from Alex Gibney. Gotta hunt it down now!

      All of his work that I’ve seen has been excellent. He’s unflinching. His scientology doc was amazing. And THEY NEVER SUED.

  10. Loretta says:

    Jennifer Lawrence can win her second Oscar with Bad Blood. Elizabeth Holmes is so insane.

  11. Sash says:

    Oh my god, she looks like an alien trying to pass as a person, it’s so weird lol

  12. Clare says:

    This reminds me so much of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. People knew it was a web of lies and deceit, but were either duped by the ‘genius scientists’ and their puppet masters, or were greedy enough to not actually care about that science/tech/ethics.

    I do hope labs are still trying to make her vision (the science) a reality, though, without the scamming, obviously.

    • Mich says:

      Her “vision” wasn’t science. It was fiction.

      • Clare says:

        Sure, but that’s how much scientific progress and discovery takes place – with fantastical ideas. Example, cell phones.

      • Katherine says:

        Well @clare that’s the whole point I think. Everyone loves the Silicon Valley story of a kooky idea that becomes a ubiquitous technology. It’s part of the whole mystique of tech. And absolutely works for cell phones or email clients etc. This whole concept of idea now details later. I don’t have an inherent problem with that for tech.

        She tried to apply this same philosophy to medical science and engineering though. And it just doesn’t work and is dangerous. If there’s any field that needs to go slower and more methodically in innovation it’s medicine. The very words medical experimentation and tech experimentation have much different connotations.

        She came up with an idea without the details and tried to go with the well we’ll figure out the details later approach. No dice when the idea isn’t working and people are basing healthcare decisions on errors or flat out lack of science.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Lots of research teams are trying to do diagnosis devices that requires a smaller sample and can test multiple stuff at once using microfluidic chips and specific/customizable probes. She was not the only one “working” on that and has never been: it’s part of the goals going towards personalized medicine. But the other groups are actually doing their work properly and this takes a lot of time

  13. KNY says:

    This story is fascinating. If anyone wants to get their feet wet looking into it, I suggest reading John Carreyrou’s book “Bad Blood” (I downloaded the audiobook and have listened to it a couple of times now in the car – it’s great) and the podcast “The Dropout.”

    Phyllis Gardner had Elizabeth’s number from the get-go. Elizabeth conned so many people – to the point where they refused to listen to reason they were so enraptured with Elizabeth. It’s insane. The podcast and the book are better than the new HBO documentary, in my opinion.

    • Mich says:

      Oh my gosh. The Bad Blood audiobook is the best audiobook I’ve ever bought. I didn’t take my headphones off for two days. Completely gripping.

      I didn’t care for the HBO documentary. It made excuses for her throughout.

  14. mycomment says:

    abc also has a series available online — for free (I don’t have hbo). ‘the dropout’:


  15. Adrien says:

    She wanted to be taken seriously by investors so she changed her voice to sound like – - Patrick Star?

  16. maggi says:

    Looks like greed has overridden basic logic yet again.
    The finger tip has significantly more nerve endings than the inside of your elbow. A capillary sample is lower quality, good for sugars but not much else. I can draw a full blood panel from a butterfly needle and, more often that not, my client tells me that they didn’t feel a thing.
    To suggest that a finger poke and microsample is in any way advantageous to the user appeals to the basic fairy tale about massive scary needles and vampire lab techs.
    And she got how many billion for that fairy tale?
    my oh my, another part of the roman empire crumbles…

    • Veronica S. says:

      It’s crazy how little laypeople know about science. Even regardless of where the blood was coming from, it’s ludicrous to think you could derive so much data from such a small biosample. There’s just not enough material to survive the rigor of so many tests. I have a thyroid condition, and they take a full tube twice a year just to test my hormone levels. If my doctor wants me checked out for autoimmune activity, they take even more. Anybody with a basic understanding of biological science should have rolled their eyes on moved on.

      • me says:

        How did Walgreens not do any of their own research before hand? They just “took her word for it”? She didn’t allow her “machine” to be in any Walgreens and all blood samples were shipped off. Did Walgreens not think hmmmm ???

    • pinetree13 says:

      I get blood draws regularly and no one can ever find my veins and it’s painful and i’m always left with bruises that last for days…the finger tip draw is very appealing to me. I would be happy if her fake machine became a real thing.

      • Some chick says:

        I’m also someone with small, hard to stick veins. It really sucks!

        A phlebotomist suggested I try drinking more water before coming in for a draw, because if you are dehydrated it makes it a lot harder for them. Usually even for a “fasting” draw you’re permitted water.

        Hope this helps and it goes more smoothly for you next time. I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet, but it does make sense.

  17. KBeth says:

    Just started watching the HBO doc, finding her super creepy…that’s my take away so far.

  18. BearcatLawyer says:

    She and Sunny Balwani have been indicted on federal felony criminal charges. There is virtually no good time/good behaviour credit in the federal system. They will both serve the vast majority of their sentences, although they may be eligible for Club Fed-level prison or house arrest.

    • Veronica says:

      Good. I can laugh at a lot of rich people scandals, but I’m a humorless b*tch when it comes to the capitalist exploitation of the ill. A lot of people were hurt by this, even if it seems otherwise at first glance. Medical decisions would’ve been based on these results. People could have and probably did die as a result of it.

  19. Mumbles says:

    Haven’t seen the HBO doc yet but 20/20 did a great 2-hour ep on Holmes last week, well worth it (I’ve read the Carreylou book and it tracked it closely). And yes Dr Gardner was on it and she is the mo-fo BOSS. Funny, tart, smart, thoughtful.

  20. CES says:

    Beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder because I don’t find her attractive at all.

    • Stella Alpina says:

      Seriously. I find it laughable that these rich old men would be “captivated” by her, with her fake deep voice and her crazy eyes. She comes off as strange and alien (as others have said) when she talks and gives expressions. Where’s the charm? It’s not like a younger version of Michelle Pfeiffer or Sharon Stone was scamming those men with fake science. Did they just see blonde hair and that was all it took?

  21. Lala11_7 says:

    I know about Hematology (sickle cell trait…penchant for DVT….crappy healthcare…you LEARN) and I remember OBSESSIVELY tracking her medical technology when It first came out…and after a couple a years…even I…someone who has NO formal medical training was like…

    “Either she has hidden an Infinity Stone from Thanos (hence the name of her company) and harnessed its power to successfully complete this process….or I call complete and utter BS…”

    And there you go…

  22. Gaby says:

    Cold case hair! Dead. Can’t wait for the movie.

  23. brooksie says:

    The HBO doc was fascinating. I don’t know if I am more creeped out by her voice or by the fact that she doesn’t blink! This Jezebel write-up about it is hilarious:


  24. Heat says:

    You have killed me dead with Cold Case hair. Lolololololol. Bless you.

  25. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    A man committed suicide over her deceptions. Blood tests were forged! She and her ‘company’ grifted millions putting our healthcare in her hands. She fooled everyone with her psychosis. There is nothing funny about any of it. This crazy bitch needs to be in Federal prison for life. Thank gawd the company failed rapidly. You can’t frakking lie to people about their frakking health, wtf? And no Lawrence shouldn’t play this twisted sister. Sorvino has a good voice for it, Lawrence will be only for the pr of it.

  26. jay says:

    Can we talk about the fact that CEO types are so fucking weird in general that you can’t even spot a sociopath amongst them lmao.

  27. Riddle says:

    I don’t know if it’s the same professor but another professor who knew her back in the day has said she never had that baritone. It was adopted to make herself seem more mature, credible, etc. She was a con artist but the big story is how nobody held her to account and asked her for proof as the investor dollars kept pouring in. She had high profile people sitting on the board (including Henry Kissinger, whom some describe as a war criminal) but none with scientific qualifications so they couldn’t ask her the hard questions.

  28. Clairej says:

    I haven’t heard of this woman. Will check out the documentary. But all I have to say is she has a serious case of the ‘crazy eyes’. I absolutely never trust people with eyes like this.

  29. vespernite says:

    Okay just watched DropOut 20/20 special and I’m totally convinced she is a damn ALIEN! She doesn’t blink or eat real food, and her voice is f@$#%ing terrifying! I bow down to Dr. Gardner she pegged the alien from the go! LOL