News.com.au reports that Australian indie developer Belle Gibson, creator of “The Whole Pantry” iOS and Apple Watch apps, has admitted that her claims of being diagnosed with, and then beating brain cancer are completely false.
Gibson’s questionable claims of having been stricken with brain cancer, and then beating it via healthy lifestyle choices came to light last month, when it was reported that $300,000 of her apps sales had failed to reach the promised charities. Gibson founded The Whole Pantry, a healthy lifestyle and diet app that launched on the App Store in 2013.
Gibson claimed her app was the grand product of lifestyle choices that helped her personally overcome brain cancer. She admitted earlier this week that the claims were false, in an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly.
“No. None of it’s true,” she confessed. “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.”
Penguin Australia has stopped selling Gibson’s book, and she is now facing financial issues. Gibson feels she should at least be respected for finally owning up to her charade.
“In the last two years I have worked every single day living and raising up an online community of people who supported each other … I understand the confusion and the suspicion, but I also know that people need to draw a line in the sand where they still treat someone with some level of respect or humility — and I have not been receiving that.”
Gibson’s lengthy interview will appear exclusively in The Australian Women’s Weekly, on sale Thursday April 23. The article suggests Gibson possibly suffers from Factitious Disorder, which leads sufferers to feign illnesses and disease to gain a wider audience and recognition.
Apple had been actively promoting Gibson’s The Whole Pantry app on its Apple Watch app page, and had flown Gibson out to Cupertino to assist her in being one of the prominent first-wave launch apps for the device. The company pulled the app from the App Store, and removed any mention of it from the Apple Watch app page, when allegations first surfaced back in March.
“I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do,” said Gibson. “Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘Okay, she’s human. She’s obviously had a big life. She’s respectfully come to the table and said what she’s needed to say, and now it’s time for her to grow and heal.’”