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5 Strangest, Most Bizarre Rumors About Elizabeth Holmes, Founder Of Now-Defunct Theranos

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5 Strangest, Most Bizarre Rumors About Elizabeth Holmes, Founder Of Now-Defunct Theranos

It wasn't all that long ago that Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was the youngest female self-made billionaire in the world. She was the biotech industry's darling. She was written about in and covered by dozens of media outlets. Thanks to the incredible success of her company, she had amassed a $4.5 billion net worth (on paper)And then the technology behind the innovative blood testing company ran into some issues — to say the least. It turns out those issues were that it was a fraud from the beginning and Elizabeth Holmes was behind it all. There was a book, Bad Blood, two documentaries (Netflix's Bad Blood and HBO's The Inventor: Out For Blood) and a 20/20 devoted to her called The Dropout. People are fascinated with the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her fake deep voice. In all accounts of her, she comes across as delusional at best and often felonious. How did she reel so many big names like Henry Kissinger into her web of lies? There are some crazy theories and rumors floating around about her. These are the five weirdest rumors about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes.

1. Her fake voice

We have to start with it as it hits you right in the face the moment she opens her mouth. It's been alleged that Elizabeth Holmes purposefully made her voice deeper to appear more authoritative. A number of former Theranos employees spoke to ABC News and said they thought she purposely changed her voice, adding that she would sometimes slip up and speak in a higher pitch, especially when she'd been drinking. "It was maybe at one of the company parties, and maybe she had too much to drink or what not, but she fell out of character and exposed that that was not necessarily her true voice. Maybe she needed to be more convincing to project a persona within a room among male venture capitalists. I'm not really quite sure," former Theranos employee Ana Arriola said.


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2. She's oddly obsessed with Steve Jobs

Holmes reportedly researched how Apple founder Steve Jobs looked and acted and then went to obsessive lengths to imitate him. She wore the black turtleneck. She had her photos taken with a slimming lens to make her neck look thinner. She held staff meetings at the same time Jobs did. She imitated his body language, such as pulling the vial Theranos used to store blood in out of her pocket in exactly the same way as Steve Jobs pulled an iPhone out of his. She was basically doing Steve Jobs cosplay. And no one thought it was weird at the time.


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RELATED: Who Was Ian Gibbons? New Details About The British Scientist Who Died By Suicide While Working For Elizabeth Holmes 

3. The weird way she made eye contact

We've all met someone who has creepy eyes or doesn't blink. Elizabeth Holmes has both. Look at a photo of her. She always looks shocked and yet, there isn't anything behind her eyes. No emotion, no empathy, no apparent thought. She looks like a robot. When she makes eye contact with someone it is direct, intimidating and unflinching. John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal reported who uncovered the fraud behind Theranos and wrote the book Bad Blood noted it in the book: "The way she trained her big blue eyes on you without blinking made you feel like the center of the world," Carreyrou wrote. "It was almost hypnotic."


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4. Her weird insistence that her dog is a wolf

Elizabeth Holmes was caught in a number of lies especially towards the end of Theranos. One of the weirdest was a lie Holmes repeatedly told about her dog Balto. The dog is a Husky and like most dogs of that breed has a tiny trace of wolf in him. Holmes ran with that and began telling people that Balto was not a dog, he was a wolf. Whenever someone stopped to pet the dog and ask her about him, she would somberly reply in her fake deep baritone voice: "He's a wolf."


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RELATED: Who Is Sunny Balwani? New Details About The Theranos President (And Elizabeth Holmes' Boyfriend) From The Netlfix Documentary

5. She treated Theranos like a cult

Elizabeth Holmes treated the Theranos offices like it was part of a cult. One former employee who worked there for six years said that he felt like he had been a victim of gaslighting by Holmes. She was also deeply paranoid. In Bad Blood, Carreyrou wrote that Holmes'  “administrative assistants would friend employees on Facebook and tell her what they were posting there" and that she “demanded absolute loyalty from her employees and if she sensed that she no longer had it from someone, she could turn on them in a flash.” Turning on someone usually meant she dug up incriminating informaton from the person's past and using that against them. Hmmmm. That sure sounds like the behavior of a cult leader to us.


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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.