Of all the people we’ve covered here faking cancer for money or attention or whatever other reasons they might have, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone pull it off on as massive a scale as Belle Gibson did. Through blogs, books, apps, fundraising (both on behalf of charities and unbeknownst to them) and media appearances, she basically managed to rip off anyone and everyone who paid her any mind to the tune of hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of dollars. Not only that, but by promoting unproven or outright quack treatments for the various strokes and forms of terminal cancers she claimed to have (brain, blood, spleen, uterus, liver, kidney, neurological), she endangered untolled numbers of lives in the process. and had it not been for suspicions and a lot of investigative reporting, she’d probably still be at it, too.
If you’re interested in this sort of thing at all, click over and read the Wikipedia entry linked above. It’s quite well researched.
Annabelle Natalie “Belle” Gibson (born October 1991) is an Australian app developer, blogger, and alternative health advocate whose marketing platform was founded on her fraudulent claims of having donated significant income to charities, and of having foregone conventional cancer treatments to positively self-manage multiple cancers through diet and controversial alternative therapies.
Gibson is the author of the The Whole Pantry smartphone application and its later companion cookbook, both of which were subsequently withdrawn from sale. The Whole Pantry application was featured in promotional material for the as-yet unreleased Apple Watch, but was removed from Apple advertising after the controversy broke.
In early March 2015, after media reporting identified Gibson’s apparently fraudulent claims of charity fundraising and donation-making, further media investigation soon revealed that Gibson had also apparently fabricated her stories of cancer, and lied about her age as well as other details of her personal life and history. Concerns were expressed that Gibson had led a profligate lifestyle, renting an upmarket town house, leasing a luxury car and office space, undergoing cosmetic dental procedures, purchasing designer clothes and holidaying internationally, on money claimed to have been raised or destined for charity.
Mainstream media were increasingly reporting specified fraudulent claims by Gibson and The Whole Pantry regarding charity fundraising and donation-making, and detailed the many inconsistencies in Gibson’s claimed medical history. With a collapsing social media support base, in an April 2015 interview Gibson admitted that her claims of cancers had been fabricated, stating that “none of it’s true”.