Tech giant Apple and publishing house Penguin are facing a wave of criticism after revelations their author and app-developer Belle Gibson’s cancer survival story may have been embellished.
And next month’s overseas release of The Whole Pantry recipe book is now in doubt, with major US publisher Simon & Schuster confirming it will investigate Ms Gibson’s biography and charitable donations.
Customers who purchased the top-rating food app and recipe book in Australia have demanded refunds after serious inaccuracies were found in the story Ms Gibson has used to build her business.
Penguin and Apple are heavily invested in The Whole Pantry brand, with Apple previously flying Ms Gibson to the US to work in secret on the new Apple Watch. The popular book was marketed off her “inspirational” story of cancer survival and large-scale charitable donations.
Penguin has now admitted it failed to check Ms Gibson’s claims made in the 3000-word preface to her book.
Ms Gibson said she launched the app after being diagnosed with terminal malignant brain cancer in 2009 and given four months to live. She claimed she was healing herself by rejecting conventional medicine and choosing a healthy lifestyle.