Disgraced Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes surprised a US courtroom yesterday by taking the stand in her own defence.
The entrepreneur is accused of duping investors out of millions of dollars with her now collapsed blood test company Theranos which, at its peak, was valued at $9bn (£6.5bn).
With nine charges of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Holmes could face up to 20 years on each count if she is found guilty.
In the bold move to defend herself, Holmes told the jury that her work at Theranos, which she launched at the age of 19, made her believe in the company’s technology.
“I started with talking to my parents, they let me take the money saved for my college to work on my patent, then I went to raise or borrow money,” she told the court in California.
The Stanford drop out continued: “I was doing it on my own”.
In the opening arguments her lawyers said Holmes was guilty of nothing more than trying and failing to realise a visionary idea.
The decision to take the stand is a notoriously risky one, as the move leaves the fallen entrepreneur open to cross examination by prosecutors. It comes after 11 weeks of testimonies from over 24 witnesses in the trial which started in September and is expected to run until next month.