Belle Gibson: Australian blogger breached law with fake cancer tale

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An investigation was launched by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) just over two years ago, and in June of last year, it brought a civil case against her and her company Inkerman Road Nominees.

Gibson did not appear throughout the court proceedings and only provided some non-sworn answers to some questions via lawyers Mills Oakley throughout the case.

Gibson curated a large social media following and released a cookbook and app called The Whole Pantry, where she told fans that she'd eschewed traditional cancer treatments in favour of "clean eating" and juice cleanses.

Back in 2014 Gibson had cheered when revealing that she no longer had cancer in her uterus, but said she was going to get tested for ovarian cancer. Gibson failed to attend any of her court hearings previous year and did not file defence.

In the hours after the court's decision, opponents of Gibson, some who were once her followers, took to Facebook to express their outrage and disappointment.

In her published ruling, Judge Mortimer said that Gibson may have been dealing with psychological and psychiatric issues.

The blogger told The Australian Women's Weekly from aged five she cared for her mother who had Multiple Sclerosis and her brother with autism. "I have lived it and I'm not really there yet", she said.

Gibson, whose full name is Annabelle Natalie Gibson, was not present when the judgment was handed down by Justice Debra Mortimer on Wednesday morning.

The judge found that there was no evidence that the wellness blogger had received any type of convention cancer treatments.

The trials have found that Gibson was aware the whole time that she didn't have cancer after consulting with Dr. Phillip Soffer but did not inform the companies she's connected to, such as Apple, Google, or Penguin.

Gibson shot to fame after she claimed that conventional medicine was not the only way out to treat cancer but natural remedies and a sugar and gluten free diet are also an effective cure.

"Her brother is not autistic and she's barely done a minute's housework in her life."
Penguin published a cookbook based on Gibson's advice and planned to release it in the U.S. and UK.

The action was dropped a few months later, but the publisher was fined $30,000 because it promoted and sold a book that made false and misleading representations. "I no longer have cancer in my uterus", she says, raising her arms and letting out a "woo-hoo". And now, completely recovered, she would tell everyone her secret.

"Legislation now in the Parliament will enable me to exempt an incorporated association or a class of associations from annual financial reporting requirements where they are also registered with and reporting to another regulator", Kariouz said.

- with Vanessa Brown and Liz Burke.