Elizabeth Holmes’ ex Sunny Balwani stands trial for Theranos

The ex-lover, who served as Elizabeth Holmes’ chief operating officer at the now-defunct tech startup Theranos, is due to face trial in California on Wednesday.

Attorneys are preparing to make opening arguments before a jury of six men and four women in the trial of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani in federal court in San Jose.

Balwani’s trial comes weeks after Holmes was found guilty on multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to wire fraud. You face up to 80 years in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for September.

Prosecutors in the Balwani case could call Holmes to testify against her ex-boyfriend.

Legal observers believe Holmes could make incriminating statements against her former lover in order to get prosecutors to recommend a lighter sentence.

During her trial, Holmes accused Balwani of sexual and verbal abuse. She told the jury that his behavior toward her “affected everything about me.” Balwani has denied the allegation.

Elizabeth Holmes
Balwani is the former lover of Elizabeth Holmes, who was convicted of fraud earlier this year.
Yichuan Cao/Sipa USA

Federal prosecutors allege that Holmes and Balwani duped investors over a revolutionary device that could allow people to test their own blood at home with a finger prick.

Balwani has pleaded not guilty.

Balwani’s trial is finally set to begin on Wednesday after a lengthy jury selection process complicated by the intense publicity surrounding the Holmes case.

Court sketch by Elizabeth Holmes
Homes faces up to 80 years in prison for their role in defrauding investors.

Balwani, a tech millionaire, was 18 years older than then-Stanford student Holmes when they met in Beijing in 2002.

Holmes installed Balwani as Chief Operating Officer at Theranos

During her trial, Holmes claimed her ex was physically, emotionally and sexually abusive throughout their decade-long relationship.

“He told me I didn’t know what I was doing in the business, that my beliefs were wrong, that he was amazed at my mediocrity, and that if I followed my instincts I would fail,” she testified.

“He made me have sex with him when I didn’t want to because he wanted me to know he still loved me.”

Elizabeth Holmes
During her trial, Holmes alleged that Balwani sexually and verbally abused her. He has denied the allegations.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

She also claimed under oath that he exercised a high degree of control over her.

Balwani reportedly told Holmes what to eat, alienated her from her family and imposed a schedule that had her work seven days a week.

According to Slate, he snooped on her text messages and threw “sharp, hard objects” at her. Elizabeth Holmes’ ex Sunny Balwani stands trial for Theranos


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