She made a huge name for herself after claiming to the world in a series of inspirational blogs that she was battling brain cancer – before going on to say she had found a natural cure for it.
But it was all a lie, and it was later revealed disgraced lifestyle blogger Belle Gibson, 26, had duped thousands of Aussies – as she never had cancer at all.
She was fined $410,000 in September for five contraventions of Australian Consumer Law, and now – six months after that fine was imposed by the Federal Court – she is still to pay up, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Gibson not only lied about having cancer and finding a natural cure, but she also told consumers she would be donating money from her Whole Pantry app and book sales to various charities.
“The Federal Court has strict procedures regarding enforcement of its orders. Consumer Affairs Victoria is following this process while considering all legal options available in respect to the orders,” a spokesman for Consumer Affairs Victoria told the agency.
She was given a week at the time of her sentencing to ask the courts if she could pay in instalments, AAP reports, according to the Mail Online.
Gibson previously claimed natural therapists had duped her into believing she had inoperable brain cancer.
While she is said to have received $440,500 from her media sales, she only donated about $10,000 of that to charity.
The total sum of her fine is made up of several smaller ones. $90,000 is for failing to donate proceeds from the sale of the app, as publicly advertised. The blogger was also fined $50,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the launch of the app, and $30,000 for failing to donate proceeds from a Mother’s Day event that took place in 2014. A further $90,000 fine has been attributed to the failure to donate other company profits.
The largest sum, $150,000, was due to Gibson’s failure to donate 100 per cent of one week’s profits from The Whole Pantry app to the family of Joshua Schwarz. Gibson had become close friends with the Schwarz family after she claimed to have the same inoperable brain tumour that Joshua later died from. The Schwarz family denied receiving any donation from Gibson, and have been left feeling as though Gibson used knowledge of their son’s condition to further her lies.
Justice Mortimer, who passed down the sentence, expressed her desire for the fine to be donated to those she had falsely promised to donate to in the past.
Gibson did not appear in court for the ruling on September 28, but had responded to an email from the court, thanking them for an update.