Show cover of The Dropout

The Dropout

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. Then, go inside the courtroom as 12 jurors decide the fate of the Theranos founder; three years after she was first charged, we find out how this saga finally ends.

Tracks

BONUS EPISODE: Sentenced
In a special bonus episode of "The Dropout: Elizabeth Holmes on Trial," we break down what happened during Holmes' sentencing hearing and what is next for the once-lauded Theranos founder. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07:26 11/19/2022
Bonus: Amanda and The Other Liz
Amanda Seyfried, the lead actress of Hulu’s “The Dropout” and the show’s creator and showrunner Liz Meriwether join host Rebecca Jarvis for a wide-ranging conversation about the making of the Hulu limited series based on the ABC News podcast. Seyfried has been nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her portrayal of Elizabeth Holmes, one of six nominations for the Hulu series this year.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
50:46 08/11/2022
The Sunny Balwani Verdict
Rebecca Jarvis sits down with Brad Mielke, host of ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast to talk about the conviction of former Theranos president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Follow “Start Here” on Apple Podcasts (https://apple.co/2maaMIF), Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3nNbcBC), or wherever you listen to get the day’s top headlines every morning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06:38 07/08/2022
Introducing 'Reclaimed: The Story of Mamie Till-Mobley'
You may know the story of Emmett Till. But you might’ve never heard his story if it weren't for one woman: Mamie Till-Mobley. In a new three-part season of ABC News' "Reclaimed" podcast, host Leah Wright Rigueur explores who Mamie Till-Mobley was before she lost her son: a young girl growing up in Illinois. Rigueur traces Mamie's journey after Emmett’s death, and how she turned her grief into a movement that changed the course of American history. The first two episodes of "Reclaimed" are available now. To listen, follow the show on Apple Podcasts (https://apple.co/3zofsOC), Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3PSLBDU), Amazon Music (https://amzn.to/3tgHfNf), or wherever you like to listen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02:31 06/09/2022
'20/20': The Rise and Con of Elizabeth Holmes
The new Hulu limited series based on this podcast and starring Oscar-nominee Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes is out now. And in case you missed 20/20’s behind-the-scenes look at the show, we wanted to drop it in this feed, so you can listen now. You’ll hear from the stars of the Hulu series and a member of the jury that convicted Elizabeth. And be sure to follow the 20/20 podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you're listening now for more true crime stories from ABC News. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
81:03 03/06/2022
The Verdict
Three years after Elizabeth Holmes was charged with 11 counts of fraud, the verdict we’ve all been waiting for is finally in. After seven days and over 50 hours of deliberation, the 12 members of the jury -- one of whom gave us details that you’ll hear for the first time on this podcast -- found Holmes guilty on four counts. They were hung on an additional three. How did they reach these conclusions? And what happens next? What will affect Elizabeth’s sentencing, and how will the appeal process work in this case? Finally, what will the ripple effects be for Silicon Valley?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
49:39 01/05/2022
Closing Arguments
More than three months, 32 witnesses and three juror dismissals after the criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes began, attorneys for the prosecution and defense had the chance to make their final appeals with closing arguments. Who presented the most compelling case? What resonated most with the eight men and four women of the jury? Whatever the case, the fate of Elizabeth Holmes could be days away from being decided. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
78:09 12/21/2021
The Defense Rests
The testimony of Elizabeth Holmes continues this week, finally concluding after seven days. And in a surprising move, the defense calls no further witnesses, resting its case. So after three months and dozens of witnesses, who came out on top? Will the defense strategy pay off? Soon, both sides will have one last shot to make a case in closing arguments before 12 jurors decide the fate of Elizabeth Holmes.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
59:20 12/14/2021
Accusations and Evasions
This week, the most jaw-dropping testimony in this trial yet. Elizabeth Holmes fights back tears telling the court she was raped when she was at Stanford and claims she was in an emotional and physically abusive relationship with her former boyfriend and Theranos COO Sunny Balwani, who firmly denies all allegations. Plus, the government begins its cross-examination, and while Elizabeth Holmes seemed to be able to recall her life in vivid detail throughout the defense’s questioning, her memories suddenly got more hazy, even non-existent, at times. Will the jury be thrown by the sudden evasiveness? And ultimately, will charges of abuse negate the allegations of fraud?   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
76:23 12/07/2021
Reframing the Narrative
This week, Elizabeth Holmes returns to the stand, presenting herself as a confident CEO with a noble mission who also naively took experts at their word. She meticulously details how she built her business -- even admitting to having doctored those pharmaceutical documents -- but implies over and over again that she relied on information given to her by scientists, doctors and board members to solidify her understanding of where her company stood. Will it be enough to convince a jury that she had no intent to defraud investors? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
54:38 11/30/2021
The Prosecution Rests & Elizabeth Speaks
In a monumental week in the trial of United States v. Elizabeth A. Holmes, the prosecution introduced its final week of witnesses before resting its case. Among them, a patient who received troubling results from a Theranos HIV test and a journalist whose damaging interviews with Elizabeth were played for the first time in court. And in a literal final-hour shocker, the defense called Elizabeth Holmes to the stand. Did the government bring its case home? Did Elizabeth begin to sway the jury? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
66:21 11/23/2021
The Beginning of the End
In this episode, we hear from two Theranos lab directors -- one who never met Elizabeth or stepped foot into the company’s lab, another who ultimately voided more than 50,000 Theranos tests after a damning government inspection. And we hear from an irate investor who says Elizabeth Holmes cut off communication with him when he asked for basic information about the company. Plus, 10 weeks into the trial, with only 24 witnesses out of a possible 181 on the government’s initial list having taken the stand, we hear a surprising update from prosecutor Jeffrey Schenk: This week might be the prosecution’s last before it rests its case.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
48:08 11/16/2021
Patterns
Nine weeks into the criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes, we’ve heard from dozens of witnesses -- Elizabeth’s colleagues, board members, investors, clients, scientists, accountants and corporate executives. It's impossible not to feel the repetition. We learn that a fake Pfizer memo wasn’t the only document Theranos falsified, and we’re introduced to a man with deep connections to many of the central players in Elizabeth’s orbit. Patterns in the prosecution’s questioning are beginning to become clear, and experts show us it’s all part of a greater plan.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
42:33 11/09/2021
The Investors
This week, we hear from high-profile companies and individuals who invested millions of dollars into Theranos, the prosecution reiterating that these investments were made on the basis of what they say was a pattern of misinformation, exaggeration and outright lies coming from Elizabeth Holmes herself. And we hear from a Pfizer scientist who speaks to the supposedly doctored Pfizer document that Theranos showed investors to help lure them in.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
46:34 11/02/2021
The Therabros
This week, we got a peek into how things at Theranos could at times be a full-on family affair. Elizabeth recruited her brother Christian to the company. He, in turn, recruited five of his Delta Tau Delta fraternity brothers to join him. The group would come to be known as “The Therabros.” We hear from one Therabro who would rise to the rank of Elizabeth’s lead of strategic operations. He interacted with VIP investors, board members, military officials and business partners, and revealed to the court what the government says was a disturbing pattern of misinformation.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
40:52 10/26/2021
The Clients
Theranos’ biggest clients, Walgreens and Safeway, are on the stand this week, testifying to what exactly they say they were told before signing multimillion-dollar deals with the blood testing startup. In email exchanges, text messages and board presentations, the prosecution paints a picture of deception while the defense claims the industry giants should’ve known better. Plus, we hear from Sunny Balwani’s dermatologist of 15 years, who happened to also become Theranos’ lab director. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
44:42 10/19/2021
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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
34:19 10/12/2021
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? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
40:23 10/05/2021
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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
39:23 09/28/2021
Mystery Men
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
39:12 09/21/2021
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
45:26 09/14/2021
The Jury
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29:50 09/07/2021
Bombshell
Today, after four postponements, a global pandemic and a baby, Elizabeth’s long-awaited trial finally begins with jury selection. With millions of pages of discovery, a potential witness list of more than 200, and nearly 4,000 exhibits, Elizabeth’s team of heavyweights has their work cut out. And at the 11th hour, the biggest bombshell yet -- Elizabeth’s team has alleged that she was subjected to a decade of physical, sexual and psychological abuse. How will this play for a jury? Will Elizabeth take the stand, and what are the chances of a conviction? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
49:28 08/31/2021
Where Have You Been, Elizabeth Holmes?
It’s been over three years since Elizabeth Holmes was charged with multiple counts of fraud. Once the youngest female self-made billionaire, she was poised to change health care forever. Now she faces decades in prison if convicted. What has Elizabeth been up to while the government has been building its case against her? The answer includes a trip to Burning Man, a new relationship and a baby born just over a month before her trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
43:06 08/31/2021
Introducing 'The Dropout: Elizabeth Holmes on Trial'
Starting Aug. 31, 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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03:30 08/05/2021
6. What Now?
As Elizabeth Holmes awaits a criminal trial, how is she spending her days? A former employee who had a chance encounter tells us some surprising new details about just that, while an old classmate emerges to share some insight into her past. Plus former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara shares his analysis on Elizabeth's potential legal fate...and then there's Balto. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
41:04 02/27/2019
5. The Downfall
Elizabeth Holmes, once the darling of Silicon Valley, is under a different kind of spotlight. Now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, she is forced to answer tough questions under oath. The claims that Elizabeth had been repeating over and over again to the public, investors, doctors and her board are under fire; the woman who once had all the answers, suddenly seems to have none. And for the first time, the lawyer for former Theranos COO, Sunny Balwani, speaks out, providing a glimpse into his defense. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
44:25 02/20/2019
4. The Whistleblower
With Theranos technology now being used by real customers, many employees are at a breaking point. They are horrified by what they believe to be widespread deception and dangerous practices, but Theranos has implemented increasingly extreme measures to stop them from speaking out. As the threat of litigation lingers, one brave and unlikely whistleblower, with close ties to Elizabeth Holmes and the board of directors, emerges. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
46:27 02/13/2019
3. A Star is Born
Elizabeth becomes a celebrity as Theranos breaks out of stealth mode and onto the main stage. The media can't get enough, and neither can many investors as Theranos Wellness Centers start popping up at Walgreens. To take advantage of the moment, Elizabeth spends millions on advertising, recruiting the same agency as Apple and even an Oscar-winning director. But real patients are now getting Theranos tests, and for some the results are shocking. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
45:23 02/06/2019
2. The Enforcer
Elizabeth brings on an unexpected character as her right-hand man at Theranos and it turns out they are hiding a big secret. They strike a monumental deal with Walgreens that could potentially put millions of lives at risk while insiders say a culture of fear and intimidation at the company leads to incredible tragedy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
42:16 01/30/2019