A new book, The Woman Who Fooled The World, hits shelves in Australia tomorrow, and promises to tell the whole sordid story of convicted wellness scammer Belle Gibson.
Gibson ran a campaign of misinformation for years, centred around her claims that a) she had a bunch of cancers and b) she managed to cure them all with a clean eating diet and lifestyle, which she detailed in her book and app. Earlier this year the 29-year-old was ordered to pay $410,000 after a court found that she had lied about ‘curing’ her cancer for profit.
The book, written by Beau Donelly and Nick Toscano, contains one particularly disturbing incident. News.com.au published the extract today, which details Gibson’s theatrics at her son’s fourth birthday party.
According to attendees of the party, just as people were preparing to leave Gibson’s home, she was struck by a seizure – conveniently hitting a wall and sliding down it for a safe landing.
Although she started convulsing violently, her friends stopped another guest calling an ambulance because Gibson reportedly “didn’t like getting hospitals involved“.
A friend told the authors, “It was ‘No, no, no, this has happened before, everything’s going to be all right, she’ll get through it’. There’s no need for an ambulance. That was the consensus.“
When Gibson came to, she told her guests that the seizures happened all the time – and promptly started convulsing again. All of this happened in front of Gibson’s son, Oli, and his kindergarten friends, and went on for 30 or 40 minutes.
One party guest told the book authors:
It looked real. I believed it was real. And I was mortified. I cried driving all the way home … I actually don’t know how I got home.
Within the next few weeks, Gibson had upped her cancer claims from just brain cancer to liver, brain, spleen, blood and uterus cancer. It was then, the book’s authors say, that some of her followers began to doubt her story.
It’s well worth reading the full extract, which is, frankly, chilling. At least we know now that Gibson’s been penalised for her outrageous charlatanry, which focused on scamming the most vulnerable people and is high on the list of the most despicable shit you can do. Christ almighty.