On Monday, HBO premiered a new documentary, The Inventor: Out For Blood in Silicon Valley, telling the story of Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the medical technology company Theranos and by age 31. At one time, she was listed by Forbes as both the richest “self-made” woman in America and the youngest woman on the Forbes list of billionaire entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, as the documentary reveals — following extensive reporting by The Wall Street Journal and other press outlets — Theranos was a scam. Holmes’ claim to have invented a machine that could run 240 different medical tests from a tiny drop of blood and do it at a lower cost than any other blood-testing lab was bogus. Theranos has since gone under and the former billionaire, who was charged with fraud last year, now reportedly carries a net worth of zero.
But according to Twitter users, there was something else phony about Holmes – her voice. As shown in the documentary, Holmes speaks in an unusually deep baritone that doesn’t fit the stereotypical perception of a young woman’s voice. As The Washington Post reported, Holmes’ voice has received media coverage of its own ranging from the tabloid TV show Inside Edition to the New York Magazine online site The Cut.
Hear what Holmes’ voice sounds like in the video below.
With Holmes’ allegedly faked voice consuming vast amounts of media space, her own family members went on the record Thursday with the entertainment site TMZ to insist that the disgraced entrepreneur’s voice was, in fact, the real deal.
“We’re told most people in the fam have low voices, including her grandmother,” TMZ wrote. “Elizabeth will occasionally change her pitch to a higher octave — especially when she gets excited or passionate.”
But Twitter, nonetheless, has been obsessed with Holmes’ deep voice since the HBO documentary debuted earlier this week, and the Holmes family’s denials do not appear to be making a dent in the Twitterverse.
me trying to do elizabeth holmes voice pic.twitter.com/TyoMmVlshK— Jill Gutowitz (@jillboard) March 20, 2019
Also, can you imagine how exhausting it must be to keep up a fake voice 24/7? #TheInventor— Brandi McNeil (@BrandiMcN) March 19, 2019
Everyone in this Elizabeth Holmes documentary wondering where her fake baritone voice came from... Oh I know exactly where she got the idea. pic.twitter.com/eHmGqbqsYn— Lonz (@lonzisms) March 16, 2019
Anyone who has ever criticized a woman’s vocal fry or uptalk or “shrill” tone needs to watch the Elizabeth Holmes documentary. She has the perfect voice so@r of you guys have been dreaming of all your lives! I’m very excited for you to finally hear it come to life. ????— Caissie St.Onge (@Caissie) March 19, 2019
Please do not let Elizabeth Holmes give women with deep voices who wear black turtlenecks and look dead behind the eyes a bad name some of us are doing our best— Julia Claire (@ohJuliatweets) March 20, 2019
me: i need a raise— Anna Kate ????✨ (@AnnaKateHart) March 13, 2019
me: *elizabeth holmes voice* i need a raise
boss: we're promoting you to CEO here's 850k a year plz don't hurt me
One YouTube user, Alex Corn, attempted to prove that Holmes has deliberately employed a phony deeper voice, compiling a video of clips that contrasts her “fake voice” with what Corn says is Holmes’ true voice. Check out that video below.
Others who have known Holmes have also made the claim that she fakes her voice, according to the site Jezebel.
“When she came to me she didn’t have a low voice,” said Dr. Phyllis Gardner, a Stanford professor who consulted with Holmes early in her career and was an early skeptic as well. “When I next saw her again was at the Harvard Medical School board meeting where she was being introduced. She says with this low voice and I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’ It was quite off.”