Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has ‘bonded’ with Real Housewives star Jen Shah in prison

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has reportedly made friends with ex-Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah in prison.

39-year-old Holmes was convicted in January 2022 on four counts of fraud and conspiracy for lying about the capabilities of her biotech company’s blood testing technology and conning investors out of millions of dollars.

49-year-old Shah pleaded guilty to fraud charges in July last year following her involvement in a telemarketing scam.

Both women are incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas, where Holmes is sentenced to 11 years and Shah is sentenced to six and a half years.

“They’re friends. They’re both rehabilitating and have bonded over being on this journey of positive change,” Shah’s representative, Chris Giovanni, told People magazine on Thursday (14 September).

“Their situations brought them together, and they have a good understanding of one another. They’re getting through it together.”

Giovanni added that Shah has taken on a mothering role towards Holmes, who gave birth to her second daughter this year.

“Jen’s given her a lot of advice. She’s even met Elizabeth’s baby and held her,” Giovanni said.

Elizabeth Holmes (left) and Jen Shah (Getty Images/Bravo)
Elizabeth Holmes (left) and Jen Shah (Getty Images/Bravo)

Holmes is also a regular at the fitness classes that Shah conducts, called “Sha-mazing Abs,” according to Giovanni.

“Jen gets all the ladies together and they rally behind her while she teaches them fitness moves, and Elizabeth has been there right along with them,” he said.

Holmes’s lawyer did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

In July, The Independent reported that Holmes’s prison sentence had been shortened by nearly two years.

The Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) database shows Holmes’ projected release date is 29 December 2032, nine years and seven months after she reported to the minimum security Camp Bryan federal prison in Texas on 30 May this year.

According to the BOP, prisoners can be granted early release for good behaviour, completion of substance abuse programmes or receive credit for “productive activities”.

The spokesperson told The Independent that every inmate earns a sentence discount of 54 days per year for every year they are deemed to have met good conduct requirements under the First Step Act.

Similarly, Shah’s sentence has been reduced twice since she entered prison on 17 February. She was originally scheduled for release in mid-2029; however, records now reportedly show her release date as 1 July 2028.

Holmes and her former partner and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who was convicted at a separate trial of 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy, were also ordered to repay victims $452m.

She claimed to have developed medical devices that could diagnose hundreds of diseases and medical conditions with just a pinprick of blood.

But when it emerged that the blood testing technology didn’t do what she claimed it did, the company imploded and she was charged with fraud and conspiracy in 2018.

Holmes continues to appeal her sentence and conviction from behind bars.