People do awful, ugly things for money. And sadly, some of the most pernicious money-making tactics work, and often remain uncovered. As a part of a gross revelation to her followers, the popular wellness blogger Belle Gibson admitted she faked cancer in order to boost her brand in an interview with The Australian Weekly.
"None of it’s true. 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," Gibson told reporters.
Now, two years after the original scandal, she's refused to show up in court and take responsibility.
Starting in 2013, Gibson garnered a following largely through her claims that she cured herself of blood, spleen, brain, uterus, and liver cancer through a strict diet and exercise regime. Throughout her career she's chased in on these claims via her 200k Instagram followers. She's also claimed to have donated upwards of $300,000 to charities that support cancer patients, and yet no receipts or proof of this has been shared.
Gibson is now facing a total of $410,000AUS in fines for defrauding her followers both through her cancer lies and her donation claims. The fines she's facing include a $150,000 fee for lying about donating week's worth of app sales to the family of a boy with a brain tumor.
She's making the rounds again this week after a report from The Guardian revealed she bailed on yet another court date.
Twitter is still furious at Gibson, which makes sense given the disgusting levels of manipulation.
Some think she's getting off too easy, given the weight of her lies.
While others are waiting on karma to deal a blow.
This whole situation is a deeply ugly mess.