Bio-tech billionaire Elizabeth Holmes’s personal life has been once again the subject of speculation. Her heavily-publicised marriage to University of California, Berkeley student Calvin Duffy collapsed last year after Holmes claimed he sexually abused her; he denied the claims, but has now claimed that the relationship had a “very destructive side”.
Duffy alleged in a lawsuit filed in February that he and Holmes broke up in 2017 after he “did not cheat on [her] like she was led to believe”. Last month, Webb, who is also suing Duffy over the alleged abuse, told a court: “I knew from the moment I met [Duffy] that he was interested in getting special treatment through sexual favours”.
In a statement to the court last month, Duffy said: “My physical and emotional relationship with Elizabeth became a big part of my life before I married her, and I was happy, as that is what I wanted from my life. Since our marriage, [she] told me that I was making her sick [and] that my focus should be on her business”.
If she does accuse Duffy of lying, she could be entitled to damages, as both parties in the lawsuit will be required to testify, but it’s unclear whether she will.
The latest allegations come on the back of claims, published in 2017, that Holmes gained a PhD by creating a fraud. Diaz Guadalupe’s book Is Inside a MakerBook lies – which Holmes has vehemently denied – claimed she received the dubious degree from The University of Southern California, despite what she insisted was a flirtatious visit from a professor at the time.
Read: The UC San Diego smear campaign turns personal
Holmes denies all allegations, however, and has taken legal action against Diaz Guadalupe. Last month, she won a temporary restraining order against the author, who is scheduled to appear in court on 11 May.
Holmes was the founder and chief executive of Theranos, a blood-testing business, from 2003 to 2017, when she was forced to step down as CEO of the company. It was rocked by $9 billion in losses in 2015, after she admitted the technology she claimed could test for blood-borne diseases using only a drop of blood had proved impossible to develop and use in an operating environment.
Read: SEC accuses Elizabeth Holmes of fraud
In that same year, it was also alleged that the company had failed to provide medicine to many people with cancer. Despite offering to provide or refund the cost of drugs, Theranos struggled to gain access to the required Medicare and Medicaid approval.