The question “Who is Belle Gibson?” started trending once again today. Belle Gibson, the Australian author of best-selling book and app The Whole Pantry, didn’t appear in court on Wednesday to testify against the claims that she is a fraud.
— The Star (@staronline) March 15, 2017
Belle Gibson was due to appear in court in front of Justice Debra Mortimer after the court had proven “most but not all” of the claims against the health guru, including misleading cancer patients to promote The Whole Pantry and lying about giving $300,000 away to charity.
Belle Gibson is now facing $1.1 million in fines, but cancer sufferers who had risked their lives by following Gibson’s diets and health tips fear that the wellness blogger will never actually pay for the damage caused as her company is already in liquidation, according to 9News.
The court found that Belle Gibson had been misleading the public in her claims of curing terminal cancer with natural remedies in 2009.
In her ruling on Wednesday against Belle Gibson, Justice Mortimer said Gibson’s claims about her cancer diagnosis were “neither reasonable nor rational.” However, the court admitted that the Whole Pantry author might have suffered “a series of delusions about her health condition.”
Disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson facing more than $1 million in fines.
Do you think that DIY holistic medicine a scam? pic.twitter.com/xb5CIoaQx4
— lovelyti (@lovelyti) March 15, 2017
To get a better understanding as to who Belle Gibson is, it must be said that the health guru had been lying about donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity. Over a two-year period, Belle Gibson earned $420,000 from sales of her book and app, The Whole Pantry, but many charities she promised to donate to, including the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, state that they have never received any donations from the woman.
Justice Mortimer says Belle Gibson “played on the empathy” of “vulnerable” groups, including cancer patients, asylum seekers and young girls.
“She played on the empathy and generosity of the Australian community.”
Thanks to the success of The Whole Pantry, Belle Gibson gained millions of followers on social media platforms, and some of her most dedicated fans continue preaching the benefits of Belle Gibson’s diets that supposedly help cure cancer and other health conditions.
Gibson has previously admitted that she had never been diagnosed with terminal cancer and said during her appearance on 60 Minutes in 2015 that she “thought [she] did have cancer.”
From Justice Debbie Mortimer:
— Joel Crean TEN (@JoelCrean) March 14, 2017
In her previous claims, the Whole Pantry author claimed she had been diagnosed by immunologist Mark Jones. The court has failed to find any records about Dr. Jones’s existence. In her interview on 60 Minutes, Belle Gibson said she “believed he was a real doctor.”
“I believed I was having radiotherapy. When he gave me medication, I was told that it was oral chemotherapy.”
Gibson continues to feed on unsuspecting victims on social media who don’t know her history and who she really is. The health guru recently posted a review of her new fasting diet called the Master Fast System.
In a since-deleted Facebook post, Belle Gibson claimed the fasting diet had cured cavities in her teeth, reduced the size of her tonsils, and even changed the color of her eyes. Using her longtime Facebook pseudonym, Harry Gibson, the wellness blogger claimed a “huge rope worm” was released after an enema, thanks to the fasting diet, according to The Age.
— Gina Rushton (@ginarush) March 14, 2017
In her 2015 interview with Australian Women’s Weekly, Belle Gibson alleged that she had been forced to care for her mother, who had multiple sclerosis when Gibson was only five-years-old, along with her autistic brother.
But Belle Gibson’s mother, who previously defended her daughter and claimed she should be “allowed to tell little porky pies,” later dismissed the claims as “a lot of rubbish” and told the same magazine that she had “practically worked myself into an early grave to give that girl everything she wanted in life.”
“Her brother is not autistic and she’s barely done a minute’s housework in her life.”
[Featured Image by 60 Minutes/9 Network Australia Official YouTube]