The mother of disgraced wellness advocate, Belle Gibson has come forward to decry the actions of her estranged daughter telling The Australian Women’s Weekly her daughter needs to apologise for the pain she has caused.
In an exclusive interview, published in full in the June issue of magazine, Belle’s mother Natalie says her daughter should dedicate the next years of her life making amends by volunteering to cancer charities.
Gibson admitted in the May edition of The Weekly that the brain cancer diagnosis she had parlayed into a wellness empire – including a best-selling cookbook and app – was in fact untrue.
She furthermore stated she had an underprivileged childhood, working from the age of five as the primary carer of a mother with Multiple Sclerosis and a brother with autism.
When pressed for details on her family, she said she didn’t know where her mother was – much less whether she was alive or dead.
Belle’s mother is in fact alive – and as she explains in a wide ranging interview on sale Monday – she’s not happy.
“What a lot of rubbish,” says Natalie. “Her brother is not autistic and she’s barely done a minute’s housework in her life. I’ve practically worked myself into an early grave to give that girl everything she wanted in life.”
Natalie, who admits part of Belle’s account of her early life is true, says she wasn't aware of the scandal surrounding her daughter until she read about it in the May issue of The Weekly – an experience she described as “profoundly disturbing” and one which prompted her to come forward to “set the record straight”.
“I just couldn't sit by and let her say these things about her family,” says Natalie.
However, the family history is complicated - and may go some way to explaining Belle's actions and apparent confusion over details of her own childhood.
In our investigations, The Weekly discovered that Belle’s mother is 54 years old - not 51 as she claimed when we went to print – a misunderstanding not dissimilar to Belle’s confusing about her age, often insisting 26 when she was actually 23.
In consultation with the Gibson family, The Weekly has made a donation to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
To find out more, see the June issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly which arrives on news stands today.