Belle Gibson, a former wellness blogger who claimed to cure herself of cancer, has made news again after failing to appear in court twice over the allegations.
She gained a huge fan following after professing to curing herself of brain cancer with natural remedies. In her cookbook, The Whole Pantry, Gibson claimed that she had been diagnosed with “malignant brain cancer” in June 2009 and was told she had just six weeks to live. She explained how after two months of chemotherapy and radiation, she ditched conventional treatment in favour of healing herself naturally “through nutrition, patience, determination and love.”
She launched the book in 2014 after her Whole Pantry app proved to be a success the previous year. It’s estimated that Gibson accumulated more than £517,000 from both ventures before alarm bells started ringing regarding the validity of her claims.
It’s not surprising that doubts began to surface – the disgraced blogger claimed to have suffered from the following all in one year:
- An inoperable brain tumour
- Three heart operations
- Two cardiac arrests
- A stroke
- Dying twice on the operating table
Penguin Australia Pty Ltd, the publisher of The Whole Pantry, have agreed to donate £15,520 to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund after failing to check the validity of Gibson’s claims.
A Fairfax investigation also shockingly revealed that she lied about donating £155,200 from sales of her app to maternal health, cancer research, schools in Africa, and Australian organisations.
The fraud, who admitted in an April 2015 interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly that none of her claims were true, has been given one more chance to file a defence before 4pm on the 10th of July after failing to appear in court twice already.