Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the woman once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs” find herself facing criminal charges — to which she pleaded not guilty — and up to decades in prison? How did her technology, meant to revolutionize health care, potentially put millions of patients at risk? And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way? ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, along with producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson, take listeners on a journey that includes a multi-year investigation. You'll hear exclusive interviews with former employees, investors, and patients, and for the first-time, the never-before-aired deposition testimony of Elizabeth Holmes, and those at the center of this story.
Starting August 31, 2021, in a series of new episodes, "The Dropout: Elizabeth Holmes on Trial" will take you inside the courtroom, breaking down the evidence and keeping score for both sides until 12 jurors decide the fate of the Theranos founder and new mother. Three years after she was first charged, we find out how this saga finally ends.
Crime and Punishment
This week, two jurors ask to be excused, citing stress around punishment and the responsibilities in deciding the future of Elizabeth Holmes. A young woman, with unusual ties to this case, gives her perspective as a trial observer, and a veteran Silicon Valley investor puts the Theranos saga in larger context.
Sounding the Alarm
This week, we hear some shocking insights from a former Theranos lab director who says he tried to stop the train before it ran off the tracks. From failing machines to a lack of proficiency testing, he tells of the pressure he felt to vouch for tests while maintaining his integrity as a lab director. And he describes how he says he tried to delay the Walgreens launch, pleading with a “nervous” Elizabeth, who went forward nonetheless. But does an aggressive and lengthy cross-examination undermine his claims?
The General and the Patient
This week, a high-profile witness from Elizabeth’s superstar board of directors surprises the courtroom by taking the stand: 4-star general and former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis. He speaks of being dazzled by the potential of Theranos’ devices on the battlefield and the disillusionment he felt when the full story came to light. Plus, we meet a patient whose Theranos test results led to a terrifying ordeal.
This week, we hear from Erika Cheung, one of the whistleblowers who originally set Elizabeth’s downfall in motion and who says she was subjected to disturbing intimidation tactics as a result. Legal experts analyze the success of each side’s opening arguments. And a mysterious man named “Hanson” causes quite the stir.
Setting the Stage
Elizabeth, holding hands with her partner, Billy and her mother, Noel, breezes into the courthouse to hear opening statements in her financial fraud trial. The government and the defense set the stage, giving us a roadmap of how their sides of the case will unfold. The prosecution says this is a case about fraud, lying and cheating, while the defense paints a picture of an ambitious young woman trying to change the world. She made mistakes, they say, but didn’t break the law. And we hear from the case’s first witness: Theranos’ top ranking financial employee who has a lot to say about how Elizabeth may have misled investors.
This week, after 11th-hour bombshell allegations of abuse were revealed, we meet the seven men and five women who will ultimately be deciding Elizabeth Holmes’ fate. We take a peek inside the courtroom, and speak with some of the potential jurors who were dismissed. We’ll hear firsthand what Elizabeth’s demeanor is like in the courtroom, what the prosecution and defense appeared to be looking for in a jury, and details about who was actually chosen.
I can’t think of a name for what Elizabeth did to men, but it was powerful and they all fell for it and invested in her sham company. Even when Tyler told his grandfather the truth, his grandfather chose Elizabeth over his own incredibly intelligent grandson.
Did she have any female investors? Does anybody else feel this way?
Great podcast! I’ve listened to every single one!
So well done!
Not only is the topic of the Drop Out fascinating, the production values for the podcast are wonderful—a model of what a good and engaging podcast should be. Rebecca Jarvis does a terrific job.
Learn so much!
I love this show! I’m learning so much! I love her interviews with people who give some context to situation, like the guy who’s been around Silicon Valley for awhile, and the lady who commented on jury selection