Australian blogger and author Belle Gibson is facing legal action after building a food and lifestyle advice brand on the lie that she had terminal brain cancer.
Gibson’s The Whole Pantry became a popular book and app on the back of her claim that she had extended the length and quality of her life, despite the diagnosis, with a range of alternative therapies. The BBC reports that Gibson claimed to have successfully treated her cancer with Ayurvedic medicine, a diet omitting gluten and sugar, and oxygen therapy.
But it all turned out to be hot air. After she was accused of failing to deliver on a promise to share her profits with a charity, Gibson owned up to the scam. “None of it’s true,” she confessed to Australian Women’s Weekly in 2015.
Publisher Penguin Australia has publicly disavowed her book, and a government agency is now readying to pursue a lawsuit against Gibson’s company for contravening the country’s Consumer Law.
“The alleged contraventions relate to false claims by Ms Gibson and her company concerning her diagnosis with terminal brain cancer, her rejection of conventional cancer treatments in favour of natural remedies, and the donation of proceeds to various charities,” Consumer Affairs Victoria said in a statement Friday.