Popular Australian food blogger Belle Gibson, who claimed that she healed a diagnosed case of incurable brain cancer through “nutrition and holistic medicine,” revealed that it was all a hoax.
“None of it’s true,” Gibson told the Australian Women’s Weekly in an exclusive feature published Thursday, after other journalists and investigators started to dig deeper into her alleged story.
But even her revelation seems questionable. The Weekly said that whenever Gibson was pressed to explain why she did this, she would cry easily and muddle her words.
The list of her past claims is miles long, many of which have recently been debunked or questioned by various media outlets. In the past, Gibson has said she had blood, spleen, uterine, and liver cancer. She’s alleged that these health issues started from an adverse reaction to the Gardasil HPV vaccine. She even said at one point that she died during a medical procedure, only to come back to life after a going into a post-operative coma.
Once people started digging deeper, she tried to cover it up by saying a bad diagnosis from a German “magnetic therapist” made her mistakenly think she had these cancers. She’s maintained that her brain cancer—and stunning recovery after forgoing chemotherapy—was real, until now.
She had spun her tale of a miraculous recovery from terminal cancer that left her with just months to live into multiple book deals, a massive Instagram following, and the highly successful Whole Pantry app, which was downloaded more than 300,000 times. The app is no longer available, and her publisher, Penguin Australia, pulled her book, which was set to publish in the U.S. and U.K. this month.
Gibson even claimed that she doesn’t know the lies from the truth at this point, telling The Weekly, “I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality,” she said. “I have lived it and I’m not really there yet.”
The Weekly speculated that Gibson has Munchausen syndrome, a psychological disorder where a person acts as if they have an illness to get attention.
Gibson is now asking for people to understand a little of where this web of lies came from, a sentiment that will likely be hard to swallow.
“I don’t want forgiveness,” she said. “I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘Okay, she’s human.’”