Elizabeth Holmes’s Trial Witness Sues Disney and Hulu

In a lawsuit filed against Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) on Thursday, a key prosecution witness who testified against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has claimed that the miniseries’ portrayal of him defamed him as corrupt on Hulu. The witness’s testimony was instrumental in Holmes’ conviction for fraud.

In a New York state court filing, Adam Rosendorff, a former Theranos lab director, objected to a fictional character who held the same position in “The Dropout,” starring Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes and chronicling her rise and fall at the blood-testing startup.

Rosendorff claimed that Mark Roessler, a fictional character, hid Theranos’ fraud by ordering the destruction of damaging lab results, falsifying records, and other unethical practices.

Rosendorff claims that his reputation and career as a physician have suffered “devastatingly” as a result of the portrayal, with many people, including journalists and even old friends, believing that Roessler was based on him.

“At the time of the trial, (Rosendorff) was considered a heroic whistleblower, a witness who was instrumental in the jury’s conviction of Holmes,” according to the filing. Now, he has been falsely portrayed as a perjurer, criminal, and unfit to practice his profession.

“The Dropout” debuted in March of last year.

Disney and Hulu did not respond immediately to requests for comment. Disney owns 67% of Hulu, while NBCUniversal of Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) owns 33%.

Richard Altman, Rosendorff’s attorney, stated that he and his client would have no further comment.

The 39-year-old Holmes was found guilty of defrauding investors in Theranos, which had a valuation of $9 billion at one point, in January 2022 and was subsequently sentenced to 11-1/4 years in prison.

Holmes, who is now a mother of two, is attempting to postpone her sentence while she appeals her conviction. A delay has been opposed by the prosecution, who claim that Holmes poses a flight risk.

New York State Supreme Court, New York County, Case No. 152734/2023: Rosendorff v. Hulu LLC et al.