Wellness Blogger Who Lied About Having Cancer Fined £240k
Belle Gibson has been found guilty of misleading consumers about her charitable donations.
An Australian wellness blogger who claimed to have beaten cancer through healthy eating and 'wellness' has been fined £240,000 for misleading consumers with lies about her charitable donations.
Belle Gibson made deceptive claims that she'd donated profits from her cookbook and a related app, The Whole Pantry, to charities, a judge ruled in March.
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In 2013 Belle began a blog and social presence in which she claimed she had been diagnosed with brain cancer and had only four years to live. She went on to claim that she'd rejected conventional care in favour of a wellness lifestlye.
After a media investifation in 2015, she admitted that she had never had cancer at all.
Despite saying "a large part of everything the company [Inkerman Road Nominees] earns is now donated to charities," only 10,000 AUD of the company's 420,000 AUD profit was indeed donated.
Now, despite the company being in liquidation, she has been ordered to pay 410,000 Australian dollars (AUD) for false claims relating to charity donations.
The judge said the 25-year-old had been "cavalier about the truth" and added: "One of the clear demonstrations of the dishonesty and self-interest attending Ms Gibson's conduct was the fact she and the company she controlled did not in fact make any donations to the organisations she had mentioned in her publicity statements until public questioning of her claims."