Last night in an exclusive 60 minutes interview Belle Gibson was given the chance to come clean. After being exposed in recent months for profiting on the back of lie and giving false hope to terminally ill cancer patients via her wellness empire, the disgraced food blogger instead insisted that she was the victim.
“I’ve not been intentionally untruthful,” she told journalist and reporter Tara Brown after insisting that she was led to believe by immunologist and neurologist, “Mark Johns,” – yet to be confirmed by records – that she had terminal brain cancer.
Describing her diagnosis, Gibson argued: “He went to my home and did a series of tests. There was a machine with lights on the front. There are two metal pads, one below the chair and one behind your back, measuring frequencies and then he said to me that I had a stage four brain tumour and that I had four months to live.
“At the time, I believed I was having radio therapy. When he gave me medication, I was told it was oral chemotherapy and I believed it.”
According to 60 minutes, the evidence provided by Gibson didn’t stack up – and Brown, who was relentless in trying to get to the truth, was quick to call her out by consistently challenging the 23-year-old to “just be honest.” At one point she even asked: “Do you accept that you’re a pathological liar?” only to be met with a firm “no” from Belle.
Giving the disgraced entrepreneur a lashing, easily likened to that of the literal terminology, the reporter insisted that Gibson had a history of claiming dramatic health problems including three heart operations, two cardiac arrests and a death on the operating table.
Proving that she’s either in way over her head, or that she does in fact have a serious mental health issue, Belle continued to insist that she believed she was dying of cancer until earlier this year.
“I’m not trying to get away with anything. I’m not trying to smooth over anything,” she said. “It’s not easy for me to be here.”
“Once I received the definite, ‘No, you do not have cancer,’ that was something I had to come to terms with and it was really traumatising and I was feeling a huge amount of grief,” she said.
What’s more, Gibson was given an out more than once in the interview. In one part, Brown said: “I just wonder, Belle, if – and I don’t know if you’re at a stage where you’ll ever admit it – but whether you just didn’t know what you were getting yourself into. You probably thought you weren’t doing any harm … you thought you could get away with it.”
The 23-year-old replied: “There was nothing to get away with, Tara.” She also denied, or more so wouldn’t accept, that she might have Munchausen syndrome, a mental disorder in which someone pretends to suffer physically or psychologically to get attention. So this raises the question: Is Belle Gibson’s mental health issue far more complex than initially comprehended?
The final indicator being that the former entrepreneur couldn’t give a definitive answer to a simple question regarding her age. While her birth records, according to 60 minutes, show that she is 23, , she said: “I’ve always been raised as being currently a 26-year-old,”
This then prompted Brown to ask: “This is a really, really simple question. How old are you?” to which Gibson replied: “That’s probably a question we’ll have to keep digging for.”
Image via Daily Telegraph
Just when you thought disgraced health entrepreneur Belle Gibson couldn’t land herself in anymore hot water, the 23-year-old’s mum has come forward and called her bluff – again.
Talking to the The Australian Women’s Weekly, Gibson’s mother Natalie said she wanted to “set the record straight” after the former health guru blamed her “troubled childhood” for her problems in sorting fact from fiction.
Slamming Gibson’s family troubles as “a load of rubbish,” she said: “Her brother is not autistic and she’s barely done a minute’s housework in her life. I’ve practically worked myself into an early grave to give that girl everything she wanted in life.
“I just couldn’t sit by and let her say these things about her family.”
Gibson, who last month confessed to lying about having cancer and building her The Whole Pantry empire off the back of a false story, tried to pardon herself with the tale of growing up without parental guidance. “It was my responsibility to do grocery shopping, do the washing, arrange medical appointments and pick up my brother. I didn’t have any toys,” she recently told the Women’s Weekly.
“I think my life has just got so many complexities around it and within it, that it’s just easier to assume [I’m lying].”
Well, her mum Natalie is calling bullshit and told the magazine that the 23-year-old needed to apologise for her actions and spend a good part of her life repaying her debts and doing volunteer work. “She’s got to look inside her own soul. The only way she is going to get forgiveness is to stop playing the victim card and spend the next few years doing nothing but charity work for cancer victims.”
While Belle still hasn’t issued an official apology, because let’s face it – “respectfully coming to the table” and asking “to heal and grow” is far from a sincere sorry, her mother has stepped up to offer condolences. “I can’t tell you how embarrassed we are about what she has done. And we sincerely wish to apologise for anyone who was deceived by Belle.”
What happens now is anyone’s guess. Will Gibson respond to her mother’s claims? Will she finally take full responsibility for her actions and try and make amends? Or is it too little too late?
What do you think?
Image via Daily Mail
In recent years, the health and fitness industry has experienced rapid growth, with anything and everything deemed healthy or nutritional sparking our interest. But, in the past few months however, the same industry has come under attack by both the public and the media after several allegations surrounding dishonest business ethics.
With obesity and malnutrition rates at an all-time high, there has never been more of a demand for healthy weight-loss programs, but are we being subjected to false and misleading information by health and fitness ‘gurus’ in a bid to capitalise on the problem?
Recently, fitness trainer and clean eating advocate Ashy Bines came under fire after she admitted to some of her recipes had been reproduced from other people’s websites. The Gold Coast workout queen addressed the issue in a YouTube video and admitted: “By outsourcing… to a nutritionist I was trying to give you all something of value and to come up with delicious recipes from the food I suggested.
“Unfortunately, I may have been too naïve to think that I wouldn’t have to check the origins of each recipe, instead trusting that the work would be completed in an honest and professional manner.”
Her admission clearly raises concerns as to why stricter guidelines aren’t being set. Especially after the scandal surrounding The Whole Pantry founder Belle Gibson, who was recently accused of faking her battle with cancer and withholding thousands of dollars in charity donations.
Since reports surfaced, her smartphone app and cookbook – which are based on the story of healing herself from brain cancer – have been pulled from circulation and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the publisher, Penguin, have admitted to not fact-checking her story.
It doesn’t stop there. Pete Evans’ book Bubba Yum Yum was put on hold after featuring a bone-broth formula recipe that was considered to be potentially fatal to infants. According to Good Food, the claim was slammed as “false and misleading” by health and economics expert at the Australian National University, Julie Smith.
“I think the ACCC should be looking very hard at this particular claim. The commercial publisher aims to make money out of this book and I suspect they would have to consider very carefully the investigation that would ensue if they published it,” she said.
And then of course, there’s the cult-like following in which meal-replacement shakes and supplements are promoted by companies as being healthy and preservative free, yet several nutritionists and dieticians say otherwise, and critics claim most are a scam.
So what’s the deal health and fitness industry? How can we distinguish the fact from the fiction? One minute we’re told to eat kale, then a report surfaces that too much kale can be deadly. The same can be said with the low-carb movement – it’s promoted by some as being the miracle approach to weight-loss, while others slam the diet as being unrealistic and dangerous.
Who’s telling the truth? And at what cost does it come to our health in the long-term? Maybe it’s time the health and fitness industry seriously considered an overhaul because, for all we know, we could be doing more damage than good.
Image via Shutterstock