Belle Gibson, founder of the wellness app The Whole Pantry, claimed her diet and lifestyle choices cured her terminal brain cancer.
Her app was featured on the Apple Watch and she also released a cookbook of the same name.
The only issue: she has now admitted that she never had cancer.
Gibson, 23, sat down with Australian Women’s Weekly for an interview in which she came clean about her lies.
“No,” she said. “None of it is true.”
Both of Gibson’s apps have been removed from the App Store and Penguin Australia has stopped selling her book, according to MacRumors.
“She says she is passionate about avoiding gluten, dairy and coffee,” Australian Women’s Weekly writes, “but doesn’t really understand how cancer works.”
Gibson also came under scrutiny in March when $US300,000 she had collected for charity apparently disappeared. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
She came under fire after Fairfax Media revealed in March that she had raised money in the name of five charities that had no record of receiving a donation from her. Her story of survival was soon put under the spotlight and she admitted that multiple other cancers she claimed to have suffered from may have been based on a misdiagnosis.
The 23-year-old promised an open letter to explain all, but instead went to ground. Her private and business social media accounts were wiped clean.
Gibson apparently believes she is being treated unfairly by the public and by the people she duped by saying a gluten, sugar, and coffee-free diet cured her brain cancer.
“In the last two years I have worked every single day living and raising up an online community of people who supported each other,” she reportedly told Australian Women’s Weekly. “I understand the confusion and the suspicion, but I also know that people need to draw a line in the sand where they still treat someone with some level of respect or humility — and I have not been receiving that.”
Gibson is not the first member of the blogging community to present fiction in fact in an apparent attempt to gain sympathy.
In 2013, a mommyblogger using the pseudonym Katie Vyktoriah said her two-year-old son was harassed in WalMart. A man snatched his pink headband off of his head while shouting gay slurs at him, Vyktoriah asserted.
As it turned out, this likely wasn’t true — and Vyktoriah’s prior claims on her blog that she had been kidnapped and had narrowly escaped death in both a train crash and in 9/11 also began to look fishy, according to the Daily Dot.
Then there was Lacey Spears, who has been accused of slowly poisoning her son until he died, while documenting his various illnesses online.
Business Insider has reached out to Gibson for comment and we will update this post if we hear back.
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