60 Minutes last night placed an emotional Belle Gibson in front of the camera to confront the public she so terribly tricked into following her treacherous mythical terminal cancer journey. And even after having months in shame to think about how she might present herself on air, she failed dismally. But that was only half the story. This interview was allegedly paid for by Channel Nine to the tune of approximately $45,000 making it all the more tragic that despite being given the paid opportunity to make amends, she completely failed to do so.
According to her life story in her book, Belle Gibson had 3 heart operations, 2 cardiac arrests, a stroke and was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer within the space of 12 months, yet Tara Brown managed to uncover in a quick 20 minutes or less, the falsification of every part of her cancer, health, wellbeing and recovery story. It presented her as an ill woman, more mentally ill or hungry for attention than physically ill, as many were led to believe.
In the interview, Ms Gibson didn’t seem to register the seriousness of the situation she’s found herself in: continually falsifying diseases and ailments and the unravelling of a huge business built on these lies. And it leaves us shaking our heads. Should we even be giving this fraud of a woman our prime time airtime and attention?
The melodramatic presentation of cancer throughout her body, that apparently started in her brain was the foundation for her wellbeing empire known as The Whole Pantry which sought to give confidence to cancer sufferers and guided them to leave traditional medicine behind and seek out natural medicine and whole foods as the solution. But with her story openly revealed earlier this year as false, what is left for the people who followed her?
Belle sold her story and her apparent health journey through a cookbook and wellness app, The Whole Pantry, which apparently made profits of over $1M and was going to be one of the first apps to be released on the Apple iWatch. The app, which we now understand was based on completely falsified illnesses, has since been withdrawn. What we can see is the situation she has got herself into through lying repeatedly has not only made her a commercial fraud, it also seems that she has lost track of the truth.
“Tara, I have lost everything and I am not here to regain it”, she said when Tara questioned her over and over again trying to get to the truth about her health, her wellbeing and even something as simple as her age. That only made those of us watching that knew she was paid, wonder at what she was there for, other than the money that is.
What Belle has done is tragic, but what is even more tragic is the suggestion in the Daily Telegraph this week that 60 Minutes offered her $45,000 to appear in the interview in which has left us with more questions than we had before. In fact, it would be our debate that she did not even know where the lies ended and the truth began.
Belle Gibson could not even tell Tara Brown her age, finding it an immensely difficult question as she’s allegedly changed her name four times and has two birth certificates. She concluded she believed she was 26 years old but was then challenged to find she was really 23.
People across social media have called on Belle Gibson to donate the payment to charity, while others called on Channel Nine to cut the show in advance of its airing. Now it seems the furore was just good TV promotion.
There were hundreds of thousands of people convinced that what Belle Gibson offered would help them. Why is this? Why are people so believing in natural health?
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) June 28, 2015