An Australian blogger named Belle Gibson claimed to have terminal brain cancer which she cured through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Through this action she earned herself a huge online following, her own published recipe book, an app that won awards, and created her own empire in actuality. She very much benefited from her cancer claim and became very successful after revealing her battle with the disease and the methods she used to cure herself. The problem is that she made up the whole story about having cancer. Her claim to fame was based solely on a lie and the public did not respond well to the news of her untruths. In an interview with Australian Women’s Weekly, she openly admitted that the whole story about having terminal cancer was made up.
The question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is what would cause a person to make up such a story about having something as serious as cancer? ABC News even stated that the blogger claimed to have blood, liver, spleen, and uterus cancer along with the brain cancer. ABC News also added that Gibson was not seeking to gain forgiveness, but rather to put the truth out there in that she felt she owed it to the public and her followers in particular. The article also mentioned that the media is condemning her and seeking to humiliate her for her deceit. People have made such false claims in the past, even some in the public eye, but the fact that she used a fake illness to profit off of others sympathy is what is unforgivable and hard to swallow. She essentially preyed on the sympathy of her fans and took advantage of their vulnerability for her own gain.
The Telegraph said that in an interview Gibson said that she felt people should view her as human and understand her lie and move past that. The woman who once had millions of followers is now subjected to having her posts, comments, and photos deleted from social media sites. Just about everything that has referenced her in any way has been deleted as a result of her actions. Her fans are disgusted with her and social media sites do not want to be affiliated with someone who told such lies to the public. Sources say that Gibson has been keeping a low profile since the story broke of her false cancer claim, even though she claimed this to be untrue on Twitter.
In an attempt to calm things down, Gibson even stated in an interview that she may have been misdiagnosed. She also said that it is not easy to admit that you could have been wrong. The Telegraph pointed out that this seemed to be an attempt on her part to make herself seem like less of a liar. She said that the public has been unsympathetic and disrespectful since the cancer claim proved to be false. She added that she thinks that her followers should have been more understanding of her situation. Her former fans on the other hand think that she should issue a public apology and Gibson herself has said that she feels she deserves one from fans as well. Many think that she should receive major backlash for her behavior and deceit.
The wellness blogger said that she was able to heal her cancer through holistic medicines and proper nutrition and getting away from chemotherapy, which she had previously been treated with. She also said that she felt that she was meant to be a teacher and spread the word about how to cure cancer in a more natural and healthy way. She led millions of fans to believe that she had cured cancer through more natural means such as a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and natural remedies rather than traditional medical treatments. As a wellness guru, she used a fake cancer claim to lure people in and ultimately deceive them to succeed in her business venture, according to the Washington Post.
Gibson claims to have been naive in trusting the wrong people who made her believe that she had cancer and was dying from it. She also blamed her behavior on not have a authority figure to guide her growing up so she went through life without support. Gibson also seems to be very vague when answering questions. She had claimed to have been misled about the cancer but cannot explain exactly how she was deceived or give any type of details about who treated her, when, or where. Her confused behavior does not seem to be helping her case as the public continues to feel betrayed by her actions and the fact that she falsely claimed to have something as serious as cancer.
By Heather Granruth