Claims Of Abuse Could "Complicate" Jury Selection In Elizabeth Holmes Trial

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Sep 01, 2021 - 05:00 AM

In a move that we're certain was part of her "legal strategy", jury selection in the upcoming Elizabeth Holmes trial could wind up becoming "complicated" as a result of the founder's claims of being abused by the company's COO, Sunny Balwani.

Legal experts told Reuters that in-person questioning of up to 170 jurors is set to start Tuesday, out of more than 200 who have filled out questionnaires. Meanwhile, lawyers for Holmes have undoubtedly "combed through potential jurors' social media posts for their views about abuse" in advance of questioning. 

According to the report, 33 potential jurors have already been excused after admitting potential bias. 

Christina Marinakis, a jury consultant with IMS, said jurors may be reluctant to admit that abuse may be used as an "excuse" in court. "They may fear they are going to be looked at as misogynists," she said.

Holmes' lawyers may favor younger jurors, another jury consultant said, "especially women".

Recall, days ago, we noted that Holmes would argue she had PTSD as a result of years of abuse. Facing 20 years in prison, Holmes' lawyers have told the court they expect Holmes to testify in her own defense during her trial. Holmes and Balwani have both been charged, but their trials have been separated.

Holmes now claims she "suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety as a result of her relationship with Balwani", Bloomberg reported. Court filings have revealed that Holmes' lawyers plan “to introduce evidence that Mr. Balwani verbally disparaged her and withdrew ‘affection if she displeased him,’ controlled what she ate, how she dressed, how much money she could spend, who she could interact with -- essentially dominating her and erasing her capacity to make decisions."

Holmes' defense will argue that Balwani was “monitoring her calls, text messages and emails; physical violence, such as throwing hard, sharp objects at her; restricting her sleep; monitoring her movements; and insisting that any success she had was because of him.”

Balwani has denied such allegations, and his lawyers have argued to have their trials seperate because “Ms. Holmes’s evidence seeking to establish her innocence would require him to defend against not only the government’s case, but to defend against her allegations as well because her allegations are so inflammatory that they cannot be left unrebutted before the jury.”