Megyn Kelly has slammed Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes for getting pregnant in an attempt ‘to get less prison time.’
Holmes became pregnant with her second child soon after she was convicted of four counts of fraud in January according to court documents.
By the time the 38-year-old former entrepreneur appeared in federal court on Friday, she had a noticeable baby bump as she walked hand-in-hand with partner Billy Evans.
Kelly suggested in the most recent episode of her podcast, the Megyn Kelly Show, that Holmes became pregnant on purpose.
The former FOX News host said she believed claims Holmes was hoping the pregnancy would gain her more sympathy at her sentencing hearing, even though she had defrauded investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
‘I hate to agree with the Twitter mob, but they’re angry about the pregnancy, suggesting she did that [on purpose],’ Kelly said on her SiriusXM podcast Monday, when discussing Holmes’ 11-year prison sentence.
Kelly then went on to say she understands ‘the theory she did that for sympathy.
‘She did that intentionally on the gamble that the judge would say, “I won’t throw the book at you for the sake of this child.”‘
But now, Kelly said, ‘that child is going to be without its mother for the first 11 years of his or her life.’
Holmes was ordered last week to surrender to authorities in April to serve 11 years and three month in prison, after which she will be placed under three years of supervised released.
Her lawyers, though, are expected to ask the judge to allow her to remain free on bail during her appeal, which she has 14 days to file.
Former FOX News host Megyn Kelly slammed Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes on her podcast Monday for getting pregnant ahead of her sentencing hearing
By the time the 38-year-old former entrepreneur (middle) in federal court on Friday, she had a noticeable baby bump as she walked hand-in-hand with her partner Billy Evans (right) and her mother (left)
On her podcast Monday, Kelly explained to her guest, author Vivek Ramaswamy, why she thought Holmes may have gotten pregnant as part of a ploy to receive a lighter prison sentence.
Holmes had previously become pregnant with her first child in March, briefly delaying her criminal fraud trial after a judge granted her request for a postponement to accommodate the birth of William Holmes Evans on July 10, 2021.
Holmes had previously become pregnant with her first child in March, briefly delaying her criminal fraud trial
The trial had already been rescheduled three other times due to the COVID pandemic.
This time, Holmes’ legal team had been petitioning US federal judge Edward Davila to sentence her to only 18 months of house arrest — even though federal guidelines would have her serve 11 to 14 years in prison for duping investors.
‘Think about that,’ Kelly told her guest. ‘You know that you’re likely to go to prison, you know the odds of getting 18 months’ house arrest are nil. No one’s going to get that who committed these crimes and got convicted of them.
‘I just don’t understand. You get pregnant anyway?’ she asked, rhetorically, noting: ‘I, too, feel angry about it.
‘I don’t want to presume the motives, but the whole situation is a disaster.’
Ramaswamy replied that he ‘can’t get in her head,’ but suggested Davila’s decision to sentence Holmes to more than 11 years behind bars is in line with what others ‘would have suffered for defrauding a sophisticated group of presumably accredited investors.’
He noted that judges must always weigh how long a sentence should be in order to dissuade others from committing a similar crime and how long it actually needs to be based on the merits of the individual case.
‘And what I see in the 11-year outcome is, you know, maybe she was game playing in terms of getting pregnant, trying to win sympathy points,’ Ramaswamy said. ‘Clearly that didn’t work.
‘But I think the essence of the struggle here was this judge, it appears to be a decision to say the deterrent effect of sending that signal was worth it.’
Kelly discussed the sentencing with her guest, author Vivek Ramaswamy, on Monday
Holmes was found guilty in January on four counts of conspiracy and wire fraud after duping investors out of millions of dollars
A federal judge sentenced her last week to 11 years in prison with three years supervised release after her lawyers tried to get a reduced sentence
Holmes was found guilty in January on four counts of conspiracy and wire fraud after duping investors out of millions of dollars.
But the jury also acquitted her on four charges and could not reach a verdict on three others.
Authorities say Holmes had charmed the wealthy investors with her claims that her $9 billion startup, Theranos, would revolutionize medical testing with self-service machines that could run an array of tests on just a few drops of blood.
The vision drew high-profile backers, and made her a billionaire on paper by the age of 30. She was then hailed as the next tech visionary on magazine covers and collected mounds of investors’ cash.
Holmes even managed to convince ex-US Defense Secretary James Mattis and two former U.S. Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz to serve on the Theranos board.
In total, Holmes raised nearly $1billion from a list of sophisticated investors that included software magnate Larry Ellison, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and the Walton family behind Walmart.
But that all came crashing down following a Wall Street Journal report revealing that her machine never actually worked as promise.
She was never found guilty of defrauding patients , but was said to have put patients at risk of bodily harm by having them use the product even though she knew the results were unreliable.
In the aftermath, Mattis testified against her during her trial, and Shultz’s son blasted Holmes for concocting a scheme that played Shultz ‘for the fool.’
Holmes was once hailed as genius for her startup health company, Theranos, which claimed to revolutionize medical testing with self-service machines that could run an array of tests on just a few drops of blood
Her world came crashing down after the Wall Street Journal revealed the machine never worked. She is pictured arriving in court with her father Christian Holmes IV and partner Billy Evans on October 17
Federal prosecutor Robert Leach later described her crimes as one of the most egregious white-collar ever committed in Silicon Valley.
In a scathing 46-page memo, Leach told Judge Davila he has an opportunity to send a message that curbs the hubris and hyperbole unleashed by the tech boom of the past decade.
He claimed Holmes ‘preyed on hopes of her investors that a young, dynamic entrepreneur had changed healthcare,’ Leach wrote. ‘And through her deceit, she attained spectacular fame, adoration, and billions of dollars of wealth.’
He also asked Davila to factor in the health threats posed by Holmes´ conduct.
But in court, Holmes’s lawyers claimed she was the innocent pawn of her manipulative and abusive lover and business partner Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani, claims that he fervently denied.
They also noted that she never stopped trying to perfect the technology until Theranos collapsed in 2018 and pointed out that Holmes never sold any of her shares, which were valued at $4.5 billion in 2014.
Holmes´ lawyer Kevin Downey also asked Davila to consider the alleged sexual and emotional abuse Holmes suffered while she was involved romantically with Balwani.
Holmes’ defense attorneys have said she was a pawn of her business partner Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani, saying she suffered sexual and emotional abuse when they were romantically involved
Balwani was convicted in July of defrauding investors and patients about the company. His sentencing is scheduled for December 7
Holmes further tried to plead her case ahead of her sentencing last week, crying in court as she said she was ‘devastated’ by her failures and would have done many things differently if she had the chance.
‘I stand before you taking responsibility for Theranos. I loved Theranos. It was my life’s work,’ she said.
‘There are so many things I would do differently if I had the chance. I tried to realize my dream too quickly. Yesterday I tried to change the world. Today, I’m wise, and want to change myself.’
‘I have felt deep shame for what people went through because I failed them,’ she told the judge, who ultimately sentenced her to 11 years behind bars arguing she never accepted responsibility for her actions.
Davila also determined that 10 investors, including Rupert Murdoch and Betsy Devos, are now entitled to $121 million in restitution
‘This case is so troubling on so many levels,’ Davila wrote in his ruling. ‘There’s no question that Ms. Holmes is bright.
‘Was there a loss of a moral compass here? The tragedy of this case is Ms. Holmes is brilliant.
‘Failure is normal. But failure by fraud is not OK. What is the pathology of fraud? Is it the inability to accept responsibility?
‘Perhaps that is the cautionary tale to come from this case.’
A restitution hearing will take place in the future.
Meanwhile, Balwani is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7 after being convicted in a July trial on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy.