Belle Gibson
Australian blogger and businesswoman Belle Gibson. Facebook/Belle Gibson Uncovered

Australian businesswoman and alternative therapy promoter Belle Gibson is in deep trouble. Her claims of surviving terminal brain cancer were false and she kept all the money she raised from charity for helping those in need. Gibson reportedly fabricated stories of providing birthing kits for women in the developing countries, raising money for a terminally ill boy, funding for asylum seekers, building a school in Sierra Leone and many more.

She was even responsible for misleading and diverting cancer patients from proven treatments to those with no scientific base. She became an Internet sensation and her social media efforts brought in loads of money. But she kept everything for herself, according to records. Not a penny was spent on charity.

Interestingly, Gibson even tricked company such as technology giant Apple and worldwide book publisher Penguin into believing her stories and her “The Whole Pantry” venture. Penguin is facing the heat for publishing Gibson’s “The Whole Pantry” cookbook without fact-checking.

It published the book about Gibson’s fake cancer survival, although it had concerns about the book’s authenticity weeks before its release. Penguin has been ordered by a court to pay $30,000 as donation to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund for its oversight.

In a landmark move that may affect the self-help movement, Penguin will have to obtain a medical diagnosis before publishing any book about people's health claims. Added to that, it must also include warnings on every book on natural or alternative therapies. The book publisher has to enhance its training program, education and compliance that should have a specific focus on ensuring all claims about medical conditions are substantiated.

“This is an important step in ensuring that consumers receive only verified information and are not deceived, particularly where serious matters of health and medical treatment are concerned,” Consumer Affairs Victoria director Simon Cohen said in a statement.

Even Apple was fooled by the Aussie blogger and alternative therapy promoter after Gibson received astounding success with her award-winning app. Apple approached Gibson after her app made meteoric sales. Soon, Apple took her under its wing and even flew her to Silicon Valley so that she could work in secret on the app. The company wanted her “The Whole Pantry” app to be a centrepiece of its new smartwatch.

Gibson reportedly made more than $1 million in book sales and app. She made a five-star world around her that had $2,000 handbags, international holidays and designer clothes. During the height of her success, the she even bought herself a 2013 BMW X3 and a luxury beachside loft. It is also believed that in order to appear for an interview, she negotiated a $45,000 cheque from "60 Minutes."

However, 23-year-old Gibson has no remorse even after getting caught, said her mother Natalie Dal-Bello. She refuted all her daughter’s claims that Gibson had to take care of the family since she was five and that she took care of her autistic brother. Dal-Bello said her son was never autistic. She has not been in touch with her daughter for the past four years.

“I can’t tell you how embarrassed we are about what she has done ... She just plucked bits and pieces of other people’s medical problems and assumed them as her own. She had a heart problem growing up, but that was it ... She doesn’t seem to be sorry. There doesn’t appear to be any remorse. I’ve never seen her cry in her life,” mum Dal-Bello told Australian Women’s Weekly in June last year.