Belle Gibson is a 24-year-old Australian ‘wellness’ blogger who allegedly deceived hundreds and thousands of followers by claiming she cured herself of terminal brain cancer through diet and lifestyle changes.
According to The Guardian, Gibson launched a recipe and lifestyle app called The Whole Pantry and a recipe book of the same name on the back of her claim, and she is now facing legal action in Australia.
In an interview with 60 minutes, Gibson was seen to be unable to confirm her age as 23 or 26, and suspicions had been circulation previous to this.
Gibson had also promised to donate thousands of dollars from the proceeds of the app and book to charity, which have never materialised.
A spokesperson for Penguin revealed that the book had been published without doing a fact-check on Gibson’s version of events.
“Consumer Affairs Victoria confirmed on Friday afternoon that it was commencing legal proceedings against her for “misleading and deceptive conduct”. It is also preparing to take legal action against her company, Inkerman Road Nominees Pty Ltd (formerly known as Belle Gibson Pty Ltd), of which she is the sole director.”
Gibson could face losses of over a million dollars.
In April last year, Gibson stated: “None of it’s true.”
“I don’t want forgiveness. I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘OK, she’s human.’ ”
In an interview with Gibson, Women’s Weekly reported that Gibson said she was “passionate about avoiding gluten, dairy and coffee, but [didn’t] really understand how cancer works”.
The Independent report that Gibson said she was wrongly diagnosed by a German alternative medical practitioner in 2009 and believed she had cancer until 2011 when a scan showed she was completely healthy.