Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former chief executive officer of Theranos, center, exits U.S. federal court in San Jose, California on May 6, 2021.Nina Riggio | Bloomberg | Getty Images
In the case of Elizabeth Holmes apparently all publicity isn’t good publicity.
Attorneys for the former Theranos CEO are citing widespread negative coverage as a reason to expand selection for the pool of jurors in her upcoming criminal fraud trial.
A 21-page motion filed late Thursday spelled out example after example of highly descriptive and unflattering stories in the past several years about Holmes.
“The publicity is pervasively negative,” lawyers for Holmes said. Adding she is, “routinely referred to in derisive and inflammatory terms that are directly relevant to the wire fraud charges in this case. Media coverage describes her as a ‘fraud,’ ‘fraudster,’ ‘con artist,’ ‘disgraced Theranos founder,’ ‘scam artist,’ and a ‘raging psychopath.'”
Holmes is asking for expanded jury summons and has proposed a written jury questionnaire. Lawyers for Holmes wrote, “media coverage also trades on prejudicial tropes and recurring themes, often relating to Ms. Holmes’ demeanor, voice, and physical appearance.” They say the negative publicity traces back to at least 2015, and has “focused intensely on Ms. Holmes personally, not simply on the