Elizabeth Holmes Is Accused of ‘Brainwashing’ Her Husband—Here’s What His Family Really Thinks of Her

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She may be one of the most controversial entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, but according to Elizabeth Holmes’ husband, William “Billy” Evans, the public has it “all wrong” about her.

Holmes was the founder and chief executive officer of Theranos, a health tech company that claimed to have revolutionized blood testing by developing methods to test patients with small volumes of blood, such as a single drop. The success of Theranos led Forbes to name Holmes as the youngest self-made female billionaire in the United States in 2015, with her company valued at $9 billion. That same year, Theranos was the subject of a Wall Street Journal investigation that accused the company of providing inaccurate medical results. Three years later, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Theranos and Holmes with fraud. In July 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Holmes and Theranos’ chief operating officer (and former romantic partner), Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In January 2022, Holmes was convicted of defrauding investor through false or exaggerated claims about the accuracy of Theranos’ blood-testing technology. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing is schedule for September 26, 2022.

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Since her criminal fraud case, Holmes has been the subject of the 2019 HBO documentary, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, and the 2022 Hulu miniseries, The Dropout, in which she’s played by Amanda Seyfried. “It was a little bit harrowing. We started shooting in June, and the trial started the first week of September,” Seyfried told Vanity Fair in 2022 about filming The Dropout amid Holmes’ criminal fraud cause. “There was a giant file that was released at one point—it was like 700 text messages between Sunny and Elizabeth. It was juicy AF! And also incredibly informative, and easily sprinkled back into the scripts. It was all perfect timing for us, really, because it proved to us that we were on the right track with the whole story.”

So who is Elizabeth Holmes’ husband and what does his family think of her now? Read on for who Holmes is married to and what her relationship has been like since her criminal case.

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Image: AP Photo/Tony Avelar.
Image: AP Photo/Tony Avelar.

How did Elizabeth Holmes meet her husband, Billy Evans?

How did Elizabeth Holmes meet her husband, William “Billy” Evans? Holmes and Evans met at a party in the Bay Area of California in 2017. “Days later, I was hanging out with Billy and he said, ‘You won’t believe who I met! She’s not as the articles portray her to be,’” a former colleague of Evans told The New York Post in 2019. As Holmes and Evans’ relationship became more serious, Holmes would visit the offices of Evans’ software company, Luminar Technologies, “a lot.” “It was inappropriate for her to be in the office. Luminar has been in a constant state of flux for a year and a half,” the source aid referring to the layoffs at the company at the time. “And then you have this total fraudster in the office while you have investor meetings.” He continued, “If I was an investor and I saw [Holmes] walking down the hallways, I’m going to be like, ‘Holy shit, get me out of here!’”

Evans and Holmes got engaged in 2019 after about two years of dating. Evans’ colleague told the New York Post that Evans proposed to Holmes with his college ring from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “He gave her his MIT signet ring,” the colleague said. “Billy and the MIT ring, they are inseparable. He always wore it on his pinky finger.” The source continued, “He could snap his fingers and have a triple-A diamond engagement ring instantly if he wanted to. But if you give her some extravagant ring, it could end up owned by the feds if she has to give up her material possessions.”

The colleague also reported that Evans’ family wasn’t supportive of his engagement to Holmes. “His family is like, ‘What the fuck are you doing?’ It’s like he’s been brainwashed. [He says,] ‘The media has it all wrong about her,’” the source said. “He’s had a lot people very close to him sit him down and have a talk…’This could be the biggest mistake you’ll ever make.’ ‘The negativity around her could blow back on you.’ ‘You’ve never encountered anything like this.’ ‘You need to think hard about what you’re doing.’”

The insider continued, “It’s kind of like Billy is her shiny new toy. She’s super enthusiastic about being with him. The relationship is opportunistic for the both of them. Elizabeth needs a lot of support in her life right now, and Billy is looking for whatever way he can raise his profile.” The colleague also reported that Evans knew his relationship with Holmes would “destroy” his “social value” but he knew that he would “get something else in return”—a.k.a. fame. “I met two of his ex-girlfriends. They were both Instagram models, and he was super proud of that fact,” the colleague said. “He would date young, absolutely drop-dead-gorgeous girls [with big followings].”

Another friend of Evans also told The New York Post at the time that his social circle was “shocked” about his relationship with Holmes. “We’re all shocked,” the source said. “He seems like he had a solid head on his shoulders and had common sense and was a good judge of character … How does a rational, very intelligent person reach such a different conclusion about a person [than the rest of the country]? It doesn’t make sense.” The colleague also added that many of Evans’ friend also rejected his wedding invitations because of Holmes. “It was shocking [when the invitations went out],” the source said. “Some friends are saying, ‘I want to go to this wedding because I want to see this spectacle,’ and others are like, ‘I’m not going. I don’t respect her.’”

Holmes and Evans married in a secret wedding in 2019, the same year as their wedding, according to Vanity Fair, who reported that no Theranos employees were invited to the nuptials. “I heard that no Theranos people were invited, which is interesting because she’s still friendly with some of her Theranos folks,” Vanity Fair reporter Nick Bilton said on the “Inside the Hive” podcast. Holmes and Evans welcomed their first child, a son named Williams Holmes Evans, on July 10, 2021, in Redwood City, California, according to birth certificates obtained by ABC News. The birth came two months before Holmes’ criminal fraud trial started. Before her son’s birth, Bilton speculated that Holmes would become pregnant before her trial to look more “sympathetic” to jurors. “Holmes is gong to get pregnant before she gets on the stand because she will look very sympathetic as a pregnant woman on the stand,” he said. Holmes and Evans live in San Francisco with their son.

Who is Elizabeth Holmes’ husband, Billy Evans?

Who is Elizabeth Holmes’ husband, William “Billy” Evans? Evans is the heir to Evans Hotel Group, which was founded by his grandparents, William and Anne Evans, in San Diego in 1995. According to the hotel group’s website, the company has three resorts in San Diego: The Lodge at Torrey Pines; Bahia Resort Hotel; and Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa. “Descriptive words that come to mind are: San Diego old guard, generous to charities, never pretentious, and very powerfully connected — very,” said Margo Schwab, publisher of the San Diego Social Diary, told The New York Post of Evans’ family. Another former friend added, “The father has a fabulous old car collection that’s housed in a building.”

Evans was raised in San Diego and attended Francis Parker Upper School from kindergarten to 12th grade. “This is a pampered, wealthy family,” former employee at Francis Parker told The New York Post. Evans graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015 with a bachelor of science in economics. According to his Linkedin, Evans worked at companies like Qualcomm Ventures, Encore Capital Group, Red Bull, Altman Vilandrie & Company, and The Boston Consulting Group before his first post-college job as a Strategy and Analytics Leadership Program Analyst at Linkedin, where he worked from July 2015 to February 2017. Before he worked at Linkedin, however, Evans tried to start a healthcare company that would charge wealthy Chinese people a fee to shuttled to the United States for concierge medical attention complete with “a chauffeur, beautiful hotels, the best health care,” a source told The New York Post. The insider continued, “Then he realized that it’s actually very hard to get in with the affluent Chinese community if you’re not fluent in Chinese, so he dropped that.”

After Linkedin, Evans then worked as a Manager of Special Projects at Luminar Technologies, a company that produces sensors for self-driving cars, from February 2017 to January 2019. According to The New York Post, Evans was recruited to work at Luminar by the company’s CEO Austin Russell after Evans charmed Russell’s then-girlfriend on a flight and she campaignd for him to be hired. Though Evans’ title was Manager of Special Projects, his co-workers told the post that they didn’t know what his responsibilities were. “He was a bit of a showman. He was wandering around with absolute purpose, but no one knew what that purpose was,” said one colleague. “He was Austin’s lieutenant, Austin’s secret police. Austin hired Billy, this sort of good-looking guy who can strut around the office and tell people what to do. And if there’s blowback, he would say, ‘Listen, this is what Austin wants — and if you don’t do it there will be consequences.'” Vanity Fair Nick Bilton also theorized on the “Inside the Hive” podcast that Evans was helping Holmes with her legal bills. “She doesn’t have any money… he is a trust fund baby and has a lot of money, and he is probably helping out with the legal bills, because Elizabeth’s family doesn’t have money either,” he said.

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"Bad Blood Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup"
"Bad Blood Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup"

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Buy: ‘Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup’ $14.21

For more about Elizabeth Holmes, check out Wall Street Journal reporter John Careyrou’s 2018 book, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. The book—which The New York Times described as “chilling” and said “reads like a thriller”—tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes, a health tech entrepreneur who was seen as the Steve Jobs, and her company, Theranos, startup that raised more than $9 billion in funding and promised to revolutionize the medical industry through single-drop blood tests. The national bestseller follows Holmes as she allegedly defrauded investors and put patients at risk with misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatments through her defective technology. The book also investigates how Holmes and her partner, Sunny Balwani, worked to silence anyone who voiced their criticism—including Theranos’ own employees.

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