In 2015, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes topped Forbes' list of America's richest self-made women. With a net worth of $4.5 billion and a Silicon Valley-based blood testing company that promised to change healthcare, the young entrepreneur was on top of her game. How she came crashing down from that pedestal is the subject of a new HBO documentary, The Inventor.
Subtitled Out For Blood in Silicon Valley, the upcoming doc tells the story of how Holmes' company Theranos was built on a lie. Though Holmes claimed that Theranos had created a method of testing that could detect a wide range of medical issues with a single drop of blood, it was all smoke and mirrors. The tech didn't work, even though Holmes had convinced powerful investors to throw their money ($400 million of it) behind the company.
Director Alex Gibney's doc explores how this particular scam happened in the first place, with a specific focus on the person who set the whole thing in motion. Featuring interviews with an allegedly faux-baritone Holmes (in a Steve Jobs-esque black turtleneck, in honor of her idol), The Inventor unpacks the deception that led to massive fraud as well as endangerment for those patients receiving the shoddy blood tests.
Like the many scammers populating pop culture right now (such as Soho grifter Anna Delvey and the McDonald's Monopoly game scam artist) Holmes' story has fascinated the public. The disgraced entrepreneur will be portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in an upcoming Adam McKay film Bad Blood, based on John Carreyrou's best-selling book Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Holmes and Theranos are also the subject of the podcast The Dropout.
"I don't really have many secrets," Holmes shares in Gibney's.
Well, maybe not after this doc is done peeling back all the layers of Holmes' deception.
Check out the trailer below. The Inventor: Out For Blood in Silicon Valley hits HBO March 18.