As I’ve been saying, this has been the Year of the Scam - scams have been our collective obsession and lately, everyone’s obsessed with Elizabeth Holmes. I first started writing about Elizabeth Holmes back in 2016 (comparing the Silicon Valley ecosystem to the celebrity ecosystem), when it was announced that Jennifer Lawrence would be starring as Elizabeth in Adam McKay’s film. A couple of months ago, Adam said that the project was still in development and that he hadn’t even seen the script yet but that he was hoping they’d get moving on it this fall and that, maybe, they’d start shooting a year from now. Pretty sure this has shot up to the top of everyone’s priority list and that they’d like to accelerate the process if at all possible. Because it just became that much more valuable. They’re not going to have any problem selling it.
Now that the HBO documentary is out, in addition to the podcast The Dropout, and the ABC 20/20 special last week, and of course John Carreyrou’s book, Bad Blood, now that everyone’s watching and talking about Elizabeth Holmes, basically consuming as much about her and Theranos as possible, one of the things people are fixating on is her maybe fake deep voice. Tavi Gevinson just posted a really great impression of Elizabeth on Twitter yesterday:
So f-cking good, right?
TMZ is now getting in on the Elizabeth Holmes action.
Elizabeth's family members tell us her voice is naturally low. We're told most people in the fam have low voices, including her grandmother, and Elizabeth will occasionally change her pitch to a higher octave -- especially when she gets excited or passionate.
As for Elizabeth's fraudulent business practice ... her family tells us they're standing behind her and remaining supportive.
According to Dr Phyllis Gardner, the Stanford professor of medicine who appears in the podcast and the HBO doc, who is widely published and qualified as f-ck, the woman who first saw Elizabeth for what she truly is/was and tried to tell them but NOBODY LISTENED, Elizabeth “didn’t have a low voice” when she was a freshman. Dr Gardner remembers that years later, when she heard Elizabeth speak at Harvard, she was surprised to hear that her previous voice had been replaced by her now infamous one. So, yeah, I feel like I’m gonna go with Dr Gardner on this one?
One more thing though, for now – there’s one clip that we keep seeing and hearing in the podcast and the documentaries that is so funny and at the same time so disturbing, I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about it. Mara Wilson was on it though:
I heard a lot of horrific things from The Dropout, the podcast about Theranos, but probably the worst was Jared Leto saying that Elizabeth Holmes was one of the few people he’d ever met who works harder than he does— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) March 7, 2019
What Jared Leto actually said was that Elizabeth was "the only person I know who makes me feel like a lazy bastard". This happened at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in 2015. It’s a major As IF in both contexts, like before Elizabeth Holmes was exposed and now that she has been exposed. Because in 2015…SERIOUSLY, Jared Leto? Out of everyone, out of all the people, the people he encounters on sets, the people he works with on tour, out of ALL THE PEOPLE, the person who was promising to revolutionise modern health care was the ONLY f-cking person who worked harder than Jared Leto, the Third Best Joker, REALLY!?!
And, well, now too. Because now that we know that she’s full of sh-t, what does that say about him?
Not that this is in any way at the top of the list of things to unpack about Elizabeth Holmes but it is part of the adjacent conversation we’re having about identity and self-branding, which in her case was tantamount to fraud. It is one of the most nefarious cases of celebrity image curation. Image curation, as we know, has been happening in Hollywood since its inception. That same practice is now happening every day on Instagram. Most of us have social media now. Is there a little Elizabeth Holmes in all of us? How many more Elizabeth Holmeses are there out there?
Yours in gossip,