The truth finally caught up. Australian lifestyle blogger and health author Belle Gibson admitted in a new interview with Australian Women's Weekly that she lied about having cancer.
The Whole Pantry writer, 23, had previously claimed that she was fighting cancer in her liver, blood, and kidney with unconventional methods, and regularly referenced said diagnosis in her writing, including her popular cookbook. Readers began to raise questions about the validity of Gibson's claims in recent weeks as inconsistencies sprung up in her stories.
"No. None of it's true," Gibson confessed in a revealing new interview with Australian Women's Weekly. "I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality. I have lived it and I'm not really there yet."
The young woman, who, the magazine writes, "convinced millions of people she was miraculously healing her terminal brain cancer through healthy eating and natural therapies," has been put under the microscope by her publisher and supporters as her story was questioned.
In an interview with The Daily Mail last month, Penguin books confirmed that the publishing house never verified Gibson's diagnosis. "Penguin did not seek or receive documentary evidence of Belle's medical condition or birth date prior to publication," the company said in a statement. "We did not feel this was necessary as The Whole Pantry is a collection of food recipes, which Penguin has published in good faith. We are concerned about the questions raised in recent days – we'll discuss them with Belle as ultimately only she can answer the questions."
Gibson, who has since deleted a massive portion of her online content and social media presence, told Australian Women's Weekly that she struggles with the truth. "If I don't have an answer, then I will sort of theorize it myself and come up with one," she explained. "I think that's an easy thing to often revert to if you don't know what the answer is."
The magazine's Clair Weaver wrote about interviewing Gibson, noting the struggle of speaking to a woman with such a loose grasp on the truth.
"At first, she seems gullible, muddled and emotional," Weaver wrote of Gibson. "She tells stories that are frustratingly vague, unverifiable and sometimes far-fetched. When pressed by The Weekly, she’s often unable to provide details such as names, locations and dates. Nor explain why her behavior, even by her own telling, often seems irrational and illogical… Belle is a troubled young woman. She feels she’s been unfairly treated. And her spectacular fall from grace makes it unlikely she will exert such powerful influence in the field of alternative health ever again."
"I don't want forgiveness," Gibson told the Australian publication. "I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, 'Okay, she's human.'"
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