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.

Episodes

August 11, 2022 50 min

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 ...

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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.

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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 cha...

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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'...

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January 5, 2022 49 min

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 wil...

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December 21, 2021 78 min

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.

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December 14, 2021 59 min

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. 

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December 7, 2021 76 min

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...

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November 30, 2021 54 min

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 he...

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November 23, 2021 66 min

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 governme...

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November 16, 2021 48 min

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 o...

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November 9, 2021 42 min

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....

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November 2, 2021 46 min

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 lu...

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October 26, 2021 40 min

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 member...

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October 19, 2021 44 min

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 year...

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October 12, 2021 34 min

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. 

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October 5, 2021 40 min

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 nonethele...

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September 28, 2021 39 min

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. 

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September 21, 2021 39 min

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.

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September 14, 2021 45 min

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 ...

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