Australian cancer curing fraud faces legal action

Belle Gibson shot to fame for claiming to have treated her terminal brain cancer with Ayurvedic medicine - now the state is after her.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Nicky Kelvin/Flash 90

An Australian woman who shot to fame Down Under over claims of healing her own terminal brain cancer only with natural alternative medicine was exposed as a fake - and now she's facing the music for her lies.

Belle Gibson became a celebrity blogger and author in 2013 after claiming to have used Ayurvedic medicine, oxygen therapy and a gluten and refined sugar-free diet to treat her cancer, reports BBC on Friday.

Her fame enabled her to launch a smartphone app and publish a cookbook, both entitled "The Whole Pantry."

The only problem is, Gibson never actually had terminal brain cancer. The blogger later admitted that her claims of self-treatment were all a ploy.

Now Consumer Affairs Victoria, a regulator body of the Australian Department of Justice, is looking to prosecute Gibson for apparently breaching the country's consumer law by cynically misleading her readers who were desperate to find cancer treatments.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has investigated Gibson's activities, and asked Australia's Federal Court for permission to take legal action against her.

In another strike against her, Gibson promised that $300,000 from the profits of her popular app and cookbook would go to a number of charities. However, the money apparently never left Gibson's pocket, and inconsistencies started cropping up in her claims of self-treatment.

The truth came out in April 2015, when she admitted to Australian Women's Weekly magazine that she had made up the entire story, and blamed a "troubled" childhood for being behind the deception.

"If I don't have an answer, then I will sort of theorize it myself and come up with one. I think that's an easy thing to often revert to if you don't know what the answer is," she told the magazine in an attempt to justify her lies.

Penguin Australia, which published Gibson's book, already has conceded to paying a 30,000 Australian dollar ($22,200) penalty to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund, for having released the book without fact checking it.