Thursday, Apr 23, 2015
An Australian blogger who claimed that she fought a terminal form of cancer with a healthy diet has admitted she never had the illness.
Belle Gibson, 23, rose to prominence in 2013 after claiming she was treating her brain cancer with whole foods and alternative therapies, BBC reported on Thursday.
She chronicled her battle with cancer on a blog, The Whole Pantry, which spawned an app and recipe book and built a huge following on social media.
She has been accused of fabricating her story and making a profit from the app and book.
In an exclusive interview with The Australian Women's Weekly, Gibson was asked outright if she has, or has ever had cancer.
"No. None of it's true," she confessed.
In April, it was revealed that Gibson failed to donate A$300,000 (S$312,000) from the sales of her app to charity as promised and her friends had started to question the legitimacy of her diagnosis.
Gibson said her "troubled" childhood may have led her to lie about her condition, reported news.com.au. The young mother of a four-year-old boy claimed she was forced to take care of herself from the age of five.
There is speculation that Gibson suffers from a psychological condition called factitious disorder or Munchausen syndrome where sufferers feign disease or illness to gain attention, news.com.au said.
Gibson said she does not 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."
Earlier this month, Victoria police said they would not pursue criminal charges against Gibson.
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