Crisis guru Risa Heller worked with Elizabeth Holmes to place the “Liz Holmes Wants to You to Forget About Elizabeth” puff piece that ran in the New York Times on May 7, according to Vanity Fair.
The article ran on the cover of the Sunday Business section and profiled the convicted Theranos founder as “an authentic and sympathetic person” and a devoted mother.
It created an uproar in the NYT’’s newsroom.
More than 80 NYT staffers attended a meeting on May 30 at which business editor Ellen Pollock defended the Holmes article that was written by former Times writer Amy Chozick.
She rejected criticism and noted that Holmes is a newsworthy person who hadn’t given an interview since 2016.
Holmes reported to federal prison on May 30 to begin her 11-year sentence.
Charlotte Klein, who wrote the VF piece, said multiple sources told her that Heller helped Holmes in brokering the NYT story. Heller did not respond to Klein's multiple requests for comment.
Heller, former communications director for New York Senator Chuck Schumer, runs Risa Heller Communications.
RHC specializes in political and crisis communications to help clients navigate top-tier media and deal with complex issues management environments where reputation or permission to operate is on the line.