Local News

Belle Gibson has been fined over $400,000 for her misleading cancer claims

The disgraced wellness blogger didn't attend court for her sentencing.

By Kate Wagner
Fraudulent wellness blogger Belle Gibson has been ordered to pay $410,000 for misleading vulnerable Australians with claims she cured a cancer she never had.
The Whole Pantry creator was found guilty of “most, but not all” charges against her for defrauding clients and monetising from false brain cancer claims earlier this year.
“Ms Gibson deliberately played on the genuine desire of members of the Australian community to help those less fortunate,” Justice Debbie Mortimer said at the time.
WATCH: Belle Gibson reveals how "traumatising" it was to be told she didn't have cancer.
“Her ‘pitch’ overwhelmingly used groups likely to evoke sympathy because of their vulnerabilities — young girls, asylum seekers, sick children.”
The disgraced blogger was fined over five contraventions of Australian consumer law, but was not in the courtroom at the sentencing.
Gibson had already been ordered to pay $30,000 towards the legal costs of Consumer Affairs Victoria and banned from making deceptive claims about her health and giving wellbeing advice.
However, Gibson went under the pseudonym Harry Gibson on Facebook to back the “healing" properties of diet giant Master Fast System’s product in March, according to The Daily Mail.
She reportedly bragged about losing 4kg, vastly improving her gut health, remedying two tooth cavities and even seeing her eye colour change in just 11 days.
She also allegedly took to the Facebook page claims to have flushed out two 15-60cm-long rope worms during an enema.
“In the same release of water was a HUGE ROPE WORM. I'm talking enormous. It ruined my day almost not to be able to get this on video. Baha,' she wrote on the group Facebook page.
“It was coiled around itself like a spiral about 5 or more times and it took up with width of the tube, so based on this math, I'm guessing it was at least 60cm (at minimum!!).
In 2009, Belle’s name rose to fame after she used her profile as a cancer survivor to build an international empire. She claimed that by eating a diet loaded with wholefoods, she was able to cure herself of terminal brain cancer.
This led Belle to publish the book The Whole Pantry, as well as a smartphone app that was based on natural therapies. Opening up exclusively told The Australian Women’s Weekly in 2015, Belle admitted she actually never had cancer.
"No. None of it's true,” she confessed.
"I don't want forgiveness. I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing.”
"Above anything, I would like people to say 'OK, she's human'."