HBO's New Doc On Elizabeth Holmes' Theranos Story Unpicks The Scandal Of The Century

HBO's documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley tells the fascinating story of Elizabeth Holmes and her former company, Theranos. The documentary charts the rise and fall of Holmes, a young entrepreneur on a mission to raise millions of dollars for a new blood-testing technology. But how can UK viewers watch The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley?

According to Variety, the documentary premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and was released in the U.S. on Tuesday, March 18 on HBO. There has been no confirmation of a UK release date yet, but, according to the Guardian, The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley is expected to be released in the UK later this year.

The HBO film follows the release of the 2018 novel Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, penned by journalist John Carreyrou. In the book, Carreyrou answers the question asked by many: was Holmes simply an inexperienced business person who found herself in too deep, or was there a darker, psychological element at play? Was Holmes, in fact, a sociopath?

According to Vanity Fair, Carreyrou writes in answer to this question: "I’ll leave it to the psychologists to decide whether Holmes fits the clinical profile, but there’s no question that her moral compass was badly askew."

The story has also been snapped up by Hollywood, with a film about Holmes' journey called Bad Blood expected to be released later in 2019, reports Refinery29. Bad Blood will reportedly see Jennifer Lawrence taking on the role of Holmes.

According to the Evening Standard, Holmes was born into a wealthy family in Washington, D.C. in 1984. She attended Stanford University, where she began developing the idea for Theranos. The Evening Standard states: "When [Holmes] told her professor Dr. Phyllis Gardner about her idea, Gardner told her it was ambitious but also impossible. Her idea was to invent a machine which could run hundreds of complex tests on blood with a single finger pinprick. Holmes nevertheless went on to launch the company and lied for years about what her blood testing company, Theranos, was actually capable of doing."

Theranos initially gained huge traction, and Forbes estimates that, at one time, Holmes' net worth was around $4.5 billion. However, things began to unravel in 2015 when the Wall Street Journal published an investigation they had done into the company.

In March 2018, Holmes had to "settle charges from financial regulators that she lied about the capabilities of her firm's blood tests," the BBC reports. Later that year, in June, Holmes and her former COO, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, were hit with criminal charges. As the BBC states: "Federal prosecutors said Ms Holmes encouraged doctors and patients to use the firm's blood tests even though she knew the tests were not consistently accurate." According to the New York Times, both Holmes and Balwani pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud.

According to Vanity Fair, Holmes is "currently living in San Francisco in a luxury apartment. She’s engaged to a younger hospitality heir, who also works in tech."