A Bizarre Ruse Played Out at Elizabeth Holmes' Trial

Reporters say an 'everyman' named Hanson who came to watch was really Bill Evans
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2021 3:22 PM CDT
A Bizarre Ruse Played Out at Elizabeth Holmes' Trial
Elizabeth Holmes, center, walks into the federal courthouse for her trial in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. Bill Evans is front right in the gray suit.   (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

If you've been captivated by the twists and turns of the Theranos saga, get ready for one of the arguably least consequential but most bizarre ones. NPR reports that an "everyman" trial observer who showed up at court during jury selection and shot the breeze with reporters, painting himself as a "concerned citizen interested in the trial," was actually a hotel magnate who happens to be the father of Elizabeth Holmes' partner (yes, the one she just had a baby with). The baseball cap- and puffer-jacket-clad man said his name was Hanson and that he worked on old cars for a living. There was maybe a sliver of truth there.

William "Bill" L. Evans, 61, isn't just at the helm of Evans Hotels but also owns Evans Garage, "a private museum and event space that houses vintage cars dating as far back as the 1880s," per NPR. He essentially unmasked himself, arriving smartly dressed among Holmes' entourage for opening arguments last week. New York Times reporter Erin Griffith says reporters immediately began buzzing about how the man in the suit had to be the Hanson they had come to know. As CNBC producer Yasmin Khorram put it, "Wait, Hanson is Billy's dad? This is insane." Khorram said he asked Evans why he introduced himself as Hanson. "People have nicknames," he replied. (Holmes is reportedly staying at a $135 million estate.)

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