Disgraced author and social media entrepreneur Belle Gibson has admitted to lying about having terminal cancer.
The Whole Pantry founder has broken her silence about the controversial story that she used to build her business almost two months after questions about her cancer claims and questionable fundraising activities were first raised.
Penguin is no longer supplying The Whole Pantry and most major retailers have withdrawn the book from sale.
In a magazine interview, Ms Gibson was asked if she has or ever had cancer.
“No … None of it’s true,” she told the Australian Women’s Weekly. “I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality. I have lived it and I’m not really there yet.”
Ms Gibson launched her global business, which included the top-rating app and cookbook, off her controversial claims that she was a young mother healing herself naturally from terminal brain cancer.
She came under fire after Fairfax Media revealed in March that she had raised money in the name of five charities that had no record of receiving a donation from her.
Her story of survival was soon put under the spotlight and she admitted that multiple other cancers she claimed to have suffered from may have been based on a misdiagnosis.
The 23-year-old promised an open letter to explain all, but instead went to ground. Her private and business social media accounts were wiped clean.
In the story in The Weekly, titled “My Life-long struggle with the truth”, Ms Gibson gave rambling explanations for her behaviour – including saying she was diagnosed by two health practitioners – but did not go into detail about her motivations for lying.