Amanda Seyfried on Elizabeth Holmes Reporting to Prison: “In a Lot of Ways It’s Fair”

Amanda Seyfried on Elizabeth Holmes Reporting to Prison: “In a Lot of Ways It’s Fair”
May 2023

The Emmy-winning actress played the disgraced former Theranos CEO for Hulu's 'The Dropout.'

Amanda Seyfried says Elizabeth Holmes' 11-year prison sentence, after the disgraced former tech exec was convicted for overseeing a blood-testing hoax and defrauding investors at her start-up Theranos, is "fair."

While appearing on Good Morning America to promote her upcoming Apple TV+ series The Crowded Room, Seyfried -- who play Holmes in an Emmy-winning performance for The Dropout -- responded briefly to the news that the convicted former CEO is reporting to a Texas prison on Tuesday.

"There's two kids that are hanging in the balance here. As a parent -- just as a mom," Seyfried said before trailing off. "Life's not fair, but in a lot of ways it's fair. It's fair for her, in particular."

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Holmes is reporting to FPC Bryan, a minimum-security prison camp consisting of around 650 inmates and located nearly 100 miles northwest of Houston, according to the Associated Press.

Holmes, who went on trial two months before fellow Theranos leader Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, was found guilty on four counts of wire fraud and conspiracy. Holmes was tried for falsely claiming that the company's blood tests could rapidly scan for and detect a variety of conditions, including diseases, using only a few drops of blood.

Additionally, she and Balwani, will have to pay $452 million in restitution to the investors who were defrauded. During its run, which began in 2003 and at one point saw Holmes valued at nearly $4.5 billion, the company raised nearly $1 billion from investors and had amassed a board of directors featuring presidential cabinet members like Henry Kissinger, James Mattis and George Shultz.

Theranos was dissolved in 2018, the same year U.S. Justice Department charged Holmes and Balwani in a case that addressed Silicon Valley's practice of entrepreneurs overselling the capabilities of their still-developing technology. This all followed a series of reports from The Wall Street Journal years earlier, which challenged the validity of what Holmes and Theranos were selling to investors about their tech.

Holmes has appealed her case and requested to remain out of prison amid the appeal, but those requests have been denied.

Holmes previously addressed Seyfried's performance in The Dropout as well as other actresses who have or were slated to portray her, stating, "They're not playing me. They're playing a character I created."

"I believed it would be how I would be good at business and taken seriously and not taken as a little girl or a girl who didn't have good technical ideas," she continued. "Maybe people picked up on that not being authentic, since it wasn't."