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Elizabeth Holmes’ private text messages reveal the former Theranos founder once referred to herself as the “the best business person of the year” and said she had “total confidence” in her abilities.
Holmes private thoughts are revealed in thousands of text messages obtained by CNBC between the disgraced tech executive and her former boyfriend—and one-time Theranos President—Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani giving new insight into the couple’s romantic life, their pursuit of high-profile investors and discussion of lavish company spending.
“My new life as of this night and forever more: -total confidence in myself best business person of the year—focus—details excellence—don’t give what anyone things—engage employees in meetings by stories and making it about them (ie prepare well),” she wrote in November 2014 in a message to Balwani as they discussed a full moon that night.
When he didn’t immediately reply, she texted again 10 minutes later writing “No response?”
Balwani responded by writing, “Awesome. U r listening and paying attention…”
That same month, the pair also discussed wooing high-dollar investors who believed the company would revolutionize the medical industry.
“Just finished calls. Alice Walton in for 50. Confirmed 100 Greg,” Holmes wrote, apparently referencing Walmart heir Alice Walton, whose famous family was said to have invested a total of $150 million in the company in 2014, according to CNBC.
“Awesome,” Balwani responded. “I was thinking today. They are not investigating in our company they are investing in our destiny.”
Minutes later, Holmes texted “Rupert over 100,” appearing to reference media mogul Robert Murdoch, who ultimately invested more than $125 million, CNBC reports.
The text messages between the pair also took center stage in court Wednesday during Holmes’ ongoing trial for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, local station KNTV reports.
Prosecutors have alleged the 37-year-old purposely defrauded investors by overstating her blood-testing company’s capabilities and claiming she’d developed a revolutionary way to run multiple blood tests using only a few drops of blood—although the company folded before ever successfully demonstrating that the failed technology actually worked.
In one text message, Balwani referred to one of the company’s laboratory’s as a “f—ing disaster zone.”
The messages also provided a unique insight into the romantic life between the pair.
“You are the breeze in the desert for me,” Holmes once texted Balwani, according to a tweet from NBC Bay Areaa journalist Scott Budman. “My water.” “And ocean.” “Meant to be only together tiger.”
Balwani responded by simply writing, “OK.”
In another exchange, Holmes texted “Was thinking about you this morning.”
Balwani replied, “We need to stay focused and vigilant. We are lazy and disorganized.”
Holmes once again professed her love for the former company executive in another exchange, writing “Madly in love with you and your strength.”
“I am tired today,” Balwani replied.
The private messages between the couple—which span from June 2011 to July 2016—also highlight lavish spending habits as the company blew through millions of dollars from its investors, according to CNBC.
In April of 2015, Holmes’ brother Christian texted about trying to arrange hotel reservations for an upcoming trip to Vegas for the couple as the company was facing increased scrutiny.
“Not sure if these are options but from dan ; presidential suite at four seasons $3k, mandarin apex suite view of strip $3400 or presidential $15k, or encore junior suite $700 view of golf course,” he wrote.
It’s not clear whether Theranos paid for the trip or not, but Balwani referenced the ill-timed vacation himself in another message.
“The Vegas trip is such a distraction,” he wrote. “Bad timing. But the guys bought everything non refundable. So we will do it. But then I don’t want distractions until we win.”
Holmes seemingly agreed writing “Then let’s focus on it in our room, do dinner, and go back early” before later discussing which high-end reservation or “top nationally rated” restaurant they should visit.
Balwani responded that he’d also arranged for “private security” for Holmes that would consist of “one dedicated security guy with us all night.”
Former U.S Security of Defense James Mattis, who once served as a Theranos board member, also took the stand Wednesday and provided hours of testimony about how he lost faith in Holmes and the company after it became apparent the technology’s claims had been overstated, BBC reports.
"There came a point where I didn't know what to believe about Theranos anymore," Mattis said.
Mattis testified that he had invested $85,000 in the company after admitting he had been “rather taken” with the technology and the promise he believed it held.
Holmes' trial began earlier this month.
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