Aus­tralian health blog­ger ad­mits to ly­ing about can­cer

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

An Aus­tralian blog­ger and au­thor who be­came a hit af­ter claim­ing she was win­ning a battle with brain can­cer through whole­foods and al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pies ad­mit­ted Thurs­day she was ly­ing and never had the dis­ease.

Belle Gibson launched her suc­cess­ful The Whole Pantry busi­ness in 2013 — billed as the world’s first health, well­ness and life­style app com­mu­nity — on the back of heal­ing her­self nat­u­rally.

She also pub­lished The Whole Pantry cook­book last year, which pub­lisher Pen­guin pulled from sale last month when sus­pi­cions sparked by the Aus­tralian me­dia first arose. It had been due for re­lease soon in the United States and Bri­tain.

Her app had also re­port­edly been hand-picked by tech gi­ant Ap­ple for its new smart­watch.

Mother-of-one Gibson, 23, has now ad­mit­ted she fab­ri­cated the can­cer, when quizzed by the Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly.

“No. None of it is true,” she con­fessed in an in­ter­view pub­lished Thurs­day en­ti­tled “My life­long strug­gle with the truth.”

“I just think (speak­ing out) was the re­spon­si­ble thing to do. Above any­thing else, I want peo­ple to say ‘okay, she’s hu­man,’”

Re­ports said she had re­ceived hate mail and even death threats since be­ing ex­posed. She said that the back­lash had been “be­yond hor­ri­ble.”

Gibson did not go into de­tail about her mo­ti­va­tions for ly­ing, other than that she had a trou­bled child­hood.

The mag­a­zine said ac­coun­tants were wind­ing up The Whole Pantry busi­ness.

Gibson’s lie be­gan un­rav­el­ing when it emerged last month that she failed to do­nate AU$300,000 (US$232,000) in prof­its from the sales of her book to char­ity as promised and friends started to ques­tion her di­ag­no­sis via the me­dia.

Todd Harper, the chief of lo­cal char­ity Can­cer Coun­cil Vic­to­ria, urged pa­tients to be wary of cure claims that sounded too good to be true.

“We are very con­cerned about any­one who makes un­proven sci­en­tif­i­cally flawed claims about can­cer treat­ments be­cause the risk is that can­cer pa­tients will take them se­ri­ously,” he said, with­out com­ment­ing specif­i­cally on Gibson.

He added that pa­tients should con­sult their doc­tor be­fore try­ing al­ter­na­tive or com­ple­men­tary treat­ments, in­clud­ing ex­treme di­ets.

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