A wellness vlogger is being fined $410,000 for pretending to have cancer
People have been known to do a variety of bizarre and dishonest things for fame and fortune, but faking cancer? Perhaps the worst. Popular Australian health and wellness blogger Belle Gibson claimed she cured her cancer through healthy lifestyle and alternative medicine. However, it was later revealed that she was lying about not only healing her cancer, but about having cancer at all. An Australian court recently fined the disgraced internet sensation $410,000. Wow.
“She knew exactly what she was doing,” Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz said of the ruling, “and thankfully there aren’t many people out there like Belle Gibson.” Agreed.
In an interview with 60 minutes Australia, Gibson claims a German alternative medicine practitioner handed down the news of her cancer diagnosis in 2009, and only in 2011 did she find out that she, in fact, did not have cancer. Despite knowing the truth, Gibson continued with her blogging, even going so far as to develop an app and publish a cookbook called The Whole Pantry based on her experiences.
Even more disheartening, Gibson also lied about donating the proceeds from her blog to a worthy cause, specifically to the family of a boy who had an inoperable brain tumor. Kairouz said that among Gibson’s laundry list of inexcusable offense’s, this was her worst.
In an interview with Australian Woman’s Weekly, Gibson said, “I don’t want forgiveness. I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘Okay, she’s human.’”
Per ABC Australia, Gibson was not in court for the recent ruling, but replied to an email from the court about her fine with the following message: “Thank you for the update, much appreciated. Belle.”
We genuinely hope nothing like this happens again in the future, and are glad the Australian legal system took action.