There are certain things that all women fake. Cancer should never be one of them. Belle Gibson, a lifestyle blogger, not only claimed she had brain cancer, but went on to tell her followers that she had found a cure for it with a healthy diet and natural alternatives.
When Gibson was revealed to be a fraud who had never suffered from brain cancer or any other cancer-related illness, the world turned against her. A civil case regarding Gibson’s media empire (a direct result of her cancer claims) has been in courts since 2016.
Gibson was found guilty earlier this year of misleading and deceptive conduct, but was not found guilty of unconscionable conduct. In June 2017, the judge was reportedly finding it difficult to determine just how much Gibson should be fined, given that she has so far showed “no positive indication of contrition or remorse” and failed to attend any hearings.
But it seems the time for confusion is over. In addition to having to pay the $30,000 in court costs (a sentence handed down when Gibson was first found guilty), she will now have to pay $410,000.
The total sum is made up of several fines. $90,000 is for failing to donate proceeds from the sale of The Whole Pantry app, as publicly advertised. The blogger will also be fined $50,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the launch of The Whole Pantry 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 the failure to donate other company profits.
The largest sum, $150,000, is 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, has expressed her desire for the fine (if Gibson is capable of paying it in full) 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 as recently as last night, thanking them for an update.
Gibson made $420,000 from her cancer con, which lasted for several years.