Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ father-in-law posed as a ‘concerned citizen’ during jury selection for her fraud trial and mingled with the media in the hope of ensuring she was given fair press, before revealing his true identity by standing next to her and her husband as they entered the courtroom when the trial began.
William ‘Bill’ L. Evans, 61, is the father of Holmes’ husband, Billy Evans, 29, who she married in secret in June 2019.
The pair welcomed their first child, a boy, in August.
The older Evans is a San Diego hotel magnate. His parents founded the Evans Hotel Group in 1953, and it now boasts multiple properties including The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla.
When jury selection began on August 31, Evans was among the first to line up in the morning to ensure he was allowed inside.
On day one, he spoke with DailyMail.com’s Chief Investigative Reporter Laura Collins, who was also lining up at 5.30am. Evans offered Collins his jacket because it was so cold. He was carrying a collection of photos in an artist’s pad, which prompted some to think he might be a court sketch artist.
Elizabeth Holmes enters the San Jose federal courtroom on August 31 for day one of jury selection. Among the press was her father-in-law, Bill Evans, in a blue jacket. He wouldn’t tell reporters who he was, claiming instead he was a car enthusiast called ‘Hanson’ who was just a concerned citizen eager to make sure the press was telling the truth. He is shown with DailyMail.com’s Chief Investigative Reporter Laura Collins (left) who saw him lining up at 5.30am
By September 8, day one of opening statements, Evans (front) accompanied her along with her husband Billy, right, and her mother Noelle
Holmes with her other, Noelle, her husband Billy and Billy’s father, Bill, front on September 8
When asked who he was and what the pictures were for, he told Collins: ‘These are just pictures of cars. It’s my hobby. You wouldn’t find them interesting.’
He was notably quiet when journalists speculated over whether Holmes would bring her baby to the trial, after delaying it because she was pregnant.
When pushed, Evans introduced himself to reporters as ‘Hanson’ and claimed he was just a ‘concerned citizen’ who had always wanted to attend a trial, and who wanted to make sure the media was reporting the proceedings accurately.
NPR’s Bobby Allyn reports that when asked if or how he knew Holmes, he replied: ‘Do I know her? Does anyone know her? What does it even mean to know someone these days?’
‘No journalist has ever told the real story about her. Everyone is just copy and pasting each others’ stories without thinking.’
When opening arguments began last Wednesday, ‘Hanson’ had ditched his cover to walk with Holmes and his son as they entered the courtroom.
He wore a suit and forwent the hat baseball hat he’d been seen wearing earlier in the week.
New York Times reporter Erin Griffith said: ‘I couldn’t believe my eyes.
‘I immediately started asking other reporters, and they were like, ‘I think it was him,’ and when we got inside and saw him even closer, it was like, ‘Yep that was him.’
Holmes and Evans married in June 2019, a year after her arrest.
Holmes married Evans, who is eight years her junior, in June 2019, a year after her arrest
Evans with his father, a hotel magnate whose parents started the Evans Hotel Group in San Diego. The group counts The Lodge at Torrey Pines among its properties
Evans with his father in September 2015. Friends of his told Vanity Fair in 2019 that his parents, hotel magnates, did not like Holmes at first because they ‘thought she was a scammer’
Vanity Fair’s Nick Bilton first revealed details of it, including the fact that no one from Theranos had been invited.
He speculated that the reason for the rushed wedding may have been that Holmes was in need of money to pay her legal fees.
Holmes’ ex boyfriend Sunny Balwani, who is 20 years older than her, is also on trial separately
The Evans family, unlike her own, is wealthy and would have been able to pay them, Bilton said.
‘She doesn’t have any money… he [Billy Evans] is a trust fund baby and has a lot of money, and he is probably helping out with the legal bills, because Elizabeth’s family doesn’t have money either,’ he said.
Another theory, he said, was that Holmes would fall pregnant to make herself look more sympathetic to the jury.
‘The other theory and this has been total pie in the sky guessing here, but there have been, I would say, three people who worked for her who say that they think Elizabeth Holmes is going to get pregnant before she gets on the stand because she will look very sympathetic as a pregnant woman,’ Bilton said in the June 2019 podcast.
She gave birth in August 2021. In March 2021, her legal team convinced the judge to delay the trial while she waited to give birth.
‘Rumor is Billy Evans’ family do not like Elizabeth Holmes, they think she is a bit of a scammer,’ Bilton added.
In June 2019, friends of Holmes who’d worked with her at Theranos speculated that she would have a baby before going on the stand in an effort to make herself more sympathetic. She gave birth in August after delaying the trial because she was pregnant
Opening arguments began on September 8. Prosecutors allege Holmes defrauded investors by taking hundreds of millions of dollars to fund her blood-test technology Theranos while knowing it couldn’t do what she claimed it could.
She had promised a healthcare revolution with her machines, that she said would perform hundreds of sophisticated blood tests with just a single prick of blood.
‘This is a case about fraud, about lying and cheating to get money. Out of time and out of money, the defendant decided to mislead,’ Robert Leach, the lead prosecutor, said in an opening statement.
Her attorney fought back, saying she believed in Theranos.
‘Elizabeth Holmes did not go to work every day intending to lie, cheat and steal. The government would have you believe her company, her entire life, is a fraud. That is wrong. That is not true,