Jared Leto Recalls His Friendship With “Lovely” Elizabeth Holmes

In a chat with The Dropout’s Amanda Seyfried, Jared Leto opened up about his past friendship with Elizabeth Holmes and how he “liked her a lot” before the Theranos CEO was convicted of fraud.

By Ashley Joy Parker Jun 15, 2022 12:29 AMTags
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This is one scene in The Dropout we wish we could have seen.

Jared Leto revealed he once crossed paths with Elizabeth Holmes and found the now convicted fraudster to be "incredibly smart" and "funny." 

"I had heard her speak in Palo Alto. She was great onstage," the actor recalled during a conversation with Amanda Seyfriedwho portrayed the Theranos CEO in the Hulu miniseries—for Variety on June 14. "Then I met her after that, and I liked her a lot. But no indication that things weren't great in her life and at the company."

After Leto, 50, presented Holmes with an honor at the 2015 Glamour's Woman of the Year Awards, the two stuck up an unlikely friendship.

"We stayed in touch after that and talked a few times, but my experience with her was always quite lovely," he added. "Not everyone is one thing. No one is one thing."

During the chat, Seyfried, 36, expressed that she was envious of Leto's interactions with Holmes, an opportunity she was not given as she prepared to play the Standford University dropout due to legal restrictions.

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"As an actor, I care about my character. I'm there with her," she said. "As much as I can be, as an actor—outside of her world, having nothing to do with her—I'm kind of in awe of anyone who's spent time with her because she'll always be far removed from me. Because we were not allowed to meet."

Although he is not longer in touch with Holmes, Leto jokingly asked Seyfried if she wanted him to pass along her number, to which the actress declined, explaining, "It's not the time. 

Josie Lepe/ Bay Area News Group

In 2015, Forbes named Holmes, now 38, the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America, on the basis of a $9-billion valuation of her a now-defunct health technology company. Three years later, a federal grand jury indicted the Silicon Valley start-up star on multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In January, following a three month trial, Holmes was convicted of defrauding investors and acquitted of defrauding patients. She now faces up to 20 years in federal prison, plus potentially millions in restitution and fines, according to NBC News. She is currently awaiting sentencing.

Unlike Seyfried, Leto did have the chance to meet the real man behind his WeCrashed role, WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann. Despite being initially told that they couldn't chat in preparation for the Apple+ series, Leto said he and the controversial businessman eventually made things work and had a sit-down.

"I think the blanket approach that they were taking was that the Neumanns weren't involved with our project, but I was too curious," he explained. "It was a piece that celebrated their success, but also some of the biggest failures. I thought that I would regret it. We had a top-secret meeting. Nobody knew it was happening. I met his wife, Rebekah, and they have a lovely family. It was a nice experience on my end.'

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