Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and her partner, Billy Evans, hold hands as they walk amongst a crowd outside a San Jose courthouse
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and her partner Billy Evans leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse after the delivery of opening arguments in her trial, in San Jose, California, U.S., September 8, 2021.
Peter DaSilva/Reuters
  • A man at Elizabeth Holmes' trial who called himself Hanson repeatedly defended Holmes to reporters.
  • He said he was just a "concerned citizen" and had always wanted to attend a trial, NPR reports.
  • However, the man was actually Bill Evans, the father of Holmes' partner, according to NPR.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

While all eyes were on Elizabeth Holmes during jury selection for her Theranos fraud trial, one man in the courtroom was beginning to garner some attention of his own.

He called himself Hanson and wore a Patagonia puffer jacket and a cap, NPR reports. He explained that he was simply a "concerned citizen" curious about the trial and that it had always been on his bucket list to attend one.

A week later, he showed up at the trial again, this time in very different clothes. He had traded his Patagonia for a suit, and he was walking into the courthouse next to none other than the defendant herself, Elizabeth Holmes.

Hanson, as it turns out, isn't named Hanson at all. He's actually Bill Evans, the father of Holmes' partner, Billy Evans, NPR reports.

While he masqueraded as casual spectator Hanson, Bill Evans defended Holmes to trial reporters, saying the news media chronically mistreated the Theranos founder in its coverage of her, according to NPR.

Trial reporters had already sensed earlier that something was amiss with "Hanson." CNN's Sara Ashley O'Brien told NPR the name on his Starbucks cup was either Bill or Billy, not Hanson. She also told NPR he wore Salvatore Ferragamo loafers, an expensive choice that casts doubt on his claims that he was an everyman.

When trial reporters asked why he initially hid his relationship to Holmes, the elder Evans was evasive, NPR reports.

NPR's Bobby Allyn asked Bill Evans if he was a mole, to which he jokingly responded that he had a mole on his head. When CNBC's Yasmin Khorram asked why he said his name was Hanson, Bill Evans "booked it for the men's restroom," she told NPR.

Later, when pressed further about why he called himself Hanson, Bill Evans told NPR, "People have nicknames and you can be free to use them."

Bill Evans and his son, Billy, both work in the hospitality industry. The family business, a San Diego hotel management group called Evans Hotels, traces its roots to 1953.

Billy Evans and Holmes had a son earlier this year. Holmes' trial was delayed last Friday because of a juror's possible COVID-19 exposure and resumed today.

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