In an article by Vox’s Sarah Kliff, Holmes tells her side of the story, which includes receiving consent from one boyfriend while he was married. Holmes was also married at the time.
“When he cheated on me during the worst times in my life, that was really traumatic,” Holmes tells Kliff in the story, published Saturday. “That put me back in a terrible place.”
Holmes was recruited to CEO Theranos shortly after graduating high school in a town outside of San Francisco. In 2003, the teenage Holmes left her family to move to Palo Alto, California, so she could work for a firm called Commercial Ideal. She was then recruited to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Sacramento as a contract manager.
Holmes later moved to Boston to work for another firm called Transutex. Transutex was eventually acquired by Commercial Ideal.
She eventually left Transutex and went to her father’s small business, a company called Rocky Mountain Physical Therapy. She was promoted to a mid-level management position.
“I looked at Elizabeth and said, ‘She’s a genius. You really need to take this serious,’” says her father, Walter Holmes.
Theranos was later sold to Theranos Inc. for $200 million, about $40 million more than Holmes’ initial equity.
“Most people have a pivotal moment,” says Holmes. “For me, it was probably after my first three years.”
In a deposition for her 2012 lawsuit against Theranos Inc. Chief Technology Officer Dr. Walter Wojcicki, Holmes says that she was 17 when she met her future husband Andrew Conrad. She says they were introduced to each other through a friend of her father’s while she was still in high school.
“We had a great relationship,” Holmes says in the deposition. She says that she and Conrad made “such an effort to act mature and to act a little older. . .he would take me to places I wasn’t used to going.”
During the story, Kliff found an email exchange between Holmes and Conrad after Holmes left Theranos for Virginia in 2010. Holmes asked Conrad if Theranos was “weak enough for me.”
“You thought I was this weak, brain damaged, dorky white kid from the suburbs,” Conrad wrote in an email to Holmes.
In the same email, Conrad also suggests that Holmes receive a cancer drug that was recommended by the Food and Drug Administration.
“If I ask you to do something and you can’t — who will I [be the person] to blame?” he asks.
“If you find out that I have acted inappropriately, I will take responsibility for it,” Holmes says.
Holmes’ story has been tabloid fodder since she started Theranos.
When Holmes sold Theranos in 2015 to healthcare company Walgreens for $10 billion, many of Holmes’ critics claimed that she and Wojcicki were the only ones who benefited from the success of the company.