ABC documentary on Theranos features ex-CEO deposition tapes

FILE PHOTO: Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, attends a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York, U.S., September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A television documentary about the rise and fall of Theranos Inc will include deposition tapes from founder and former Chief Executive Elizabeth Holmes and other key players in the downfall of the high-tech blood-testing company.

ABC News said on Wednesday that “The Dropout” was the result of a three-year investigation of the self-made Silicon Valley entrepreneur and her company, which was worth as much as $9 billion before it became clear that many of its claims were bogus.

The documentary will be previewed on ABC’s “Nightline” program on Jan. 23, with a six-part podcast launched the same day. An air date for the full documentary has yet to be announced.

Theranos founder Holmes, 34, and the now-defunct company’s former president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice in June 2018 on charges they engaged in schemes to defraud investors, doctors and patients.. Both have pleaded not guilty.

ABC said “The Dropout” will feature the first sit-down interview with Balwani’s attorney, as well as never-before-aired deposition tapes of Balwani, Holmes, three former members of the Theranos board, and others.

Attorneys for Holmes did not return a request for comment on the ABC documentary.

Theranos grabbed headlines and funding 10 years ago by claiming it could perform a full range of clinical tests using tiny blood samples drawn from a finger stick. Prosecutors allege that Holmes and Balwani knew their device had accuracy and speed issues.

Rebecca Jarvis, ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent, said she had been investigating Theranos for years. “There’s a lot to digest and learn. I hope that viewers and listeners will become as engrossed with the details as we have,” she said in a statement.

The Theranos story is also the subject of a feature film in development called “Bad Blood” that is expected to star Jennifer Lawrence. The movie is based on the May 2018 book of the same name by Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, whose work first exposed Theranos.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bill Rigby

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