A popular blogger and social media star is coming clean about faking terminal brain cancer, telling an Australian magazine it was all a hoax.
“No, none of it is true,” Belle Gibson told the Australian Women’s Weekly, admitting she lied about having multiple painful cancers.
“I don’t want forgiveness,” the 23-year-old added. “I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘Okay, she’s human.’”
The full interview hits stands on April 23. Gibson, the founder of The Whole Pantry, a smartphone app and recipe book of the same name, claimed clean eating and alternative therapies were curing her of brain cancer, even after being told she had only months to live, according to the magazine.
She admitted in the interview that while she really does avoid gluten, dairy and coffee, she doesn’t know much about cancer.
Journalist Clair Weaver said Gibson was emotional during the interview with The Weekly and struggled to provide details about her life.
Before her story unraveled, hundreds of thousands of fans and multiple media outlets had applauded Gibson, who rose to fame on Instagram, for her strength and inspiration. ELLE Australia named her “the most inspiring woman you’ve met this year” in a feature last year.
Apple has since dropped The Whole Pantry app, and Penguin Australia has stopped distribution of her cookbook, writing that “we have not received sufficient explanation from Ms. Gibson, author of The Whole Pantry recipe book, in response to recent allegations,” according to a statement on the company’s website.
Gibson’s social media accounts have also been deleted.