She was silent as her estranged daughter built a wellness empire as a cancer imposter but in this revealing interview, which featured in the June 2015 issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, the mother of Belle Gibson, Natalie Dal-Bello paints a picture of a complicated family life. Clair Weaver and Bryce Corbett report.
The estranged mother of the disgraced wellness advocate Belle Gibson has spoken out for the first time, angrily refuting her daughter’s life story and imploring her to apologise.
Natalie Dal-Bello (formerly Gibson) says she was “deeply hurt and incredibly upset” at her daughter’s unforgiving account of her childhood and upbringing – and her refusal to say sorry to the people she had duped.
The 51-year-old, who says she has had no contact with her daughter for the past four years, said she was horrified to read Belle’s interview in last month’s magazine. Natalie called The Weekly, at first angry about our story and Belle’s comments, but eventually she agreed to talk to tell her side of the story.
“I can’t tell you how embarrassed we are about what she has done. And we sincerely wish to apologise to anyone who was deceived by Belle. For what small part we played in her life, we would like to say sorry.
“She’s got to look inside her own soul. The only way she is going to get forgiveness is to stop playing the victim card and spend the next few years doing nothing but charity work for cancer victims.”
Natalie says Belle’s account of her childhood is wrong. Speaking to The Weekly last month, Belle described growing up with a mother who had multiple sclerosis and a brother who was autistic, saying she was forced from the age of five to become her mother’s primary carer and do all the housework and grocery shopping.
“What a lot of rubbish,” says Natalie, who confimed she has multiple sclerosis, but refutes the rest. “Belle never cared for me, her brother is not autistic and she’s barely done a minute’s housework in her life. I’ve practically worked myself into an early grave to give that girl everything she wanted in life. Every time she moved house, I paid for it, whenever she needed something for [her son] Ollie, I paid for it. If she wanted a new computer, I paid for it. Phone bills, clothes, beauty treatments – you name it. And this is how she repays me.
“She’s just a girl who always had ideas above her station. She was never happy with what she had and embarrassed by her family. Her tastes just became more and more expensive, and she was living beyond her means. And she was addicted to her computer. She used to fall asleep with it. Always on Facebook, always online. But that world is not real, it’s not healthy.”