The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her startup Theranos

Holmes said her blood-testing startup, once valued at $9 billion, could change the world - then whistleblowers alleged her company's technology was fraudulent. Holmes denies any wrongdoing.
5:40 | 03/15/19

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Transcript for The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her startup Theranos
Here's Rebecca Jarvis with a special preview of our new documentary. Reporter: Black turtlenecks, smoky voice. Elizabeth Holmes was a tech super nova who said she had an amazing invention. Making it possible to do any lab test from a tiny drop of blood from a finger. Reporter: The youngest female self-made billionaire, CEO of her open company. Magazine cover after magazine cover. Blog post, speech. The golden girl of silicon valley. Part of the new time 100 list just out. She was traveling with body guards, carrying guns, traveling in private jets. Reporter: Only problem? It didn't work. Did Ms. Holmes know theranos could not do those tests? Yeah, she knew. Reporter: A whistle blower revealed it all. Tiny drop from a finger. They fooled patients. Hey, yeah, let's try it. They fooled doctors. First they think you're crazy. Them they fight you, and then you change the world. Reporter: Holmes pleaded not guilty. Enough Elizabeth Holmes. Listen, this company is a fraud. Reporter: This was not how a young billionaire thought her empire would end. Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? I do. Thank you. Reporter: It's certainly not where it began. Behind those piercing eyes was a peculiar young woman who seemed to survive on ambition alone. I have this image of her as kind of like a nun-like existence. Black, quiet, all alone. She lived in an apartment which she wouldn't let me see. Said it was just a one bedroom, refrigerator just had bottled water in it. She had a lot of green drinks and all is this stuff that I, you know, I looked at and said oh, my god, I can't. If you are what you eat, what Green juice. Best word to describe you? Mission oriented. Favorite place to visit? My office. One of Elizabeth's most bizarre characteristics is her obsession with Steve jobs and apple computer and imitating him and the company. Reporter: She even went after Steve jobs' own right hand man. I'd like to welcome one of my colleagues, somebody I've worked with for a decade. Reporter: Avi was one of jobs' closest friends. After retiring, avi learned about Elizabeth Holmes and theranos. When you find these ideas that can cut across everything, it's huge. Clearly, if this could be made to work, then it was going to be hugely impactful. Reporter: Was she selling you on the mission of theranos? How did she come across? She was definitely selling me on a vision for what she wanted to do in this realm of blood testing and making it something that was much more accessible than it's ever been. So you joined the board. Joined the board. Reporter: His involvement attracted others from apple to join theranos, like Ana Arriola, who had helped design the iPhone. The opportunity was altruistic, and I was very curious. Unfortunately, I left 15,000 shares in apple. But c'est la vie. Reporter: She may have left apple. But to her surprise, she certainly didn't leave all of Steve jobs behind. Elizabeth was very curious about Steve's attire. And I explained to her that he was inspired by Sony's heritage of having ise miyaki. And she tracked that down. Reporter: But the transformation didn't end there. Her voice. What she could figure out. Reporter: A surprising baritone. Was that it would likely cost her a few thousand dollars to get these tests done. Reporter: Was fake, according to Ana. We didn't know it wasn't her voice until much later. I think it was at one of the company parties. Maybe she had a little too much to drink or whatnot. But she fell out of character and revealed that wasn't necessarily her true voice. Reporter: In this interview from 2005, we hear a very different-sounding Elizabeth. No, it hasn't. Well, if I use traditional words to describe what we're doing, it's hard. When she came to me, she didn't have a low voice. She didn't? No. What was her voice like? A typical undergrad student. When I next saw her was at the board meeting where she was being introduced. She has this low voice, and I'm like, oh, my god. It's just prestige, whether it be the turtleneck, the baritone, the swagger, the sense of belief in herself. You're captivated. Reporter: But then, as the money poured in, the problems poured out. Suddenly, it wasn't just her voice that insiders were worried about. I would never have expected anyone would behave the way she behaved as a CEO. And believe me, I worked for Steve jobs. I saw some crazy things.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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