Belle Gibson, the famous Australian wellness blogger who stated that she overcame brain cancer through a routine of special diet and exercise, has been outed.
For weeks, the media has unearthed information that Gibson might have been lying about her remarkable story — claims she refuted and vowed to fight.
Now the author is waving the white flag because it’s “the responsible thing to do.”
In an interview with Australian Women’s Weekly, Belle Gibson had this to say.
“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.’ “
Gibson’s “The Whole Pantry” app was a blockbuster that tied in to her popular website and her recipe book — published by Penguin — that both carry the same name, the Guardian notes.
The beginning of the end for Belle Gibson came in March of this year. That’s when news broke that thousands she had promised to charities were never paid.
This caused journalists to do a little more digging, but Belle went on the defense, refusing to show medical records confirming her cancer, which she later downgraded to a “misdiagnosis.”
In the new interview, she’s dropped the pretenses.
“None of it’s true,” she confirmed.
While Gibson may be hoping for eventual acceptance of what she did as “human,” critics believe her fib shouldn’t be forgotten about so easily.
After all, Gibson’s message in claiming that her diet and exercise helped her to overcome terminal brain cancer may have influenced others to forgo life-sustaining treatments out of desperation.
Gibson, however, upon hearing of the first accusations took a stand on her Facebook page, noting that she had changed “thousands of lives for the better.”
Clair Weaver, the journalist who interviewed Belle, notes that in spite of the revelation, the wellness blogger “claims to have been naïve, to have trusted the wrong people and to have honestly believed she was healing herself of cancer” at the time.”
“She didn’t have a parent figure to guide her,” Weaver states.
Penguin has since ceased publication of Belle’s book, and Apple has removed it from the App Store. However, Google Play continues to make it available for $2.99.
Do you think that Belle Gibson should be held criminally liable for giving false hope to cancer patients? What do you think of her statement that she “doesn’t want forgiveness”? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Penguin]