Belle Gibson: The Instagram Influencer Who Faked Cancer And Claimed Her Survival Was Due To A Diet Which She Sold In A Book

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Belle Gibson: The Instagram Influencer Who Faked Cancer And Claimed Her Survival Was Due To A Diet Which She Sold In A Book

A new BBC documentary has investigated Australian Instagram influencer Belle Gibson, who claimed that she had survived stage cancer by healthy eating. Gibson went on to make huge sales of her healthy eating book and inspired young cancer sufferers to follow her lead. Her story was said to give huge inspiration and hope to many in their darkest time. However, it was all a lie. Gibson never had cancer and the whole thing had been a scam. Gibson was convicted and given a massive fine.


Those who followed Gibson, and believed her story, spoke to the new BBC documentary, telling their own personal stories.


One cancer patient, Kylie, also an Australian, said:


"[Belle] was beautiful, she was successful, she was inspiring to so many people. She was the ultimate goal. [I thought] maybe she's got the right idea, maybe I'm doing it all wrong. I'm dying on the inside, getting worse with every single treatment. I look horrendous. And she's out there living her best life."


She added:


"Chemo wasn't working for me. [I said] I should come off and try clean eating. [Belle] was saying what she was doing was curing her cancer, it was making it better. I had her there to look at [as proof], I had her on my phone, she was in magazines, she was on the news, so I trusted her."


Another young cancer patient, Maxine from the UK, said:


"[Belle] was the queen bee of wellness. I had a bad time getting a diagnosis. I was about 12, so a lot of doctors were like, 'oh, it's your hormones or it's just period pains'. It caused this negative attitude toward medical professionals and their approach to chronic illness, because I didn't feel like I had that long-term support."


She also, like Kylie, adopted Gibson's diet, saying:


"It reinforced this ridiculous belief in my head that you didn't need meds in order to manage the condition. I got really into the whole diet side of things, I adopted a plant-based diet where I cut out loads of supposedly 'toxic' ingredients. It was very extreme. After the initial sort of placebo effect, it all just came crumbling down. In my mind I was thinking, 'I'm just not eating healthy enough, I'm not doing enough of the right things, I could be eating even cleaner than I already am'. The more I chased this perfect diet that wellness presented, the more unwell I got and then the more I kept blaming myself for not being perfect enough."


Gibson's deceit was discovered after media teams in Australia began investigating her, and she eventually admitted to not having cancer. She was fined in an Australian court, a fine she has not paid, and her home has been raided by police several times in order to retrieve the money she gained through lies and manipulation.


Gibson later went on to say that she had suffered years of neglect from her mother which drove her to lie for attention. She has never apologised sincerely.


'Bad Influencer: The Great Insta Con' is available on the UK's BBC channel and iPlayer.


[h/t: BBC]


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Thinking Humanity: Belle Gibson: The Instagram Influencer Who Faked Cancer And Claimed Her Survival Was Due To A Diet Which She Sold In A Book
Belle Gibson: The Instagram Influencer Who Faked Cancer And Claimed Her Survival Was Due To A Diet Which She Sold In A Book
A new BBC documentary has investigated Australian Instagram' influencer' Belle Gibson who claimed that she had survived stage cancer by healthy eating
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