By 3 News online staff
A popular health blogger who fraudulently claimed she had terminal brain cancer has finally opened up about the scandal in an interview with 60 Minutes.
Belle Gibson, 26, in an interview broadcast on Sunday night said she had been fooled by a mysterious doctor and insisted she wasn't trying to "get away with anything".
Ms Gibson made more than $1 million from cookbook and wellness app The Whole Pantry after claiming she had cured her brain tumour with natural treatments.
But the blogger was given a clean bill of health from Melbourne's Alfred Hospital in 2011.
60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown drilled her about the claims during the hour-long interview and repeatedly asked for the truth.
But Ms Gibson insisted she had never been "intentionally untruthful" and suggested she'd been fooled by a neurologist named 'Mark Johns'.
The doctor used a frequency machine to diagnose the so-called fatal tumour, and began administering radiotherapy and oral chemotherapy, she said.
"He went to my home and did a series of tests, there was a machine with lights on the front. There are two metal pads, one below the chair and one behind your back, measuring frequencies and then he said to me that I had a stage four brain tumour and that I had four months to live."
But 60 Minutes reported there was no record of 'Mark Johns', and also revealed that a brain scan at Alfred Hospital had cleared Ms Gibson of brain cancer in 2011, years before the cancer-related marketing campaign for the book and app.
But the blogger continued to claim she was a victim, saying the diagnosis left her with a "huge amount of grief".
"I'm not trying to get away with anything, I'm not trying to smooth over anything," she said.
"Once I figured out where I stood and I'd received the definitive 'you don't have cancer'... it was traumatising."
Ms Gibson claimed she only discovered she was cancer-free earlier this year and planned to tell the media herself before the scandal broke.
Ms Brown highlighted Ms Gibson's history of making dramatic claims about her health, which include three heart operations, two cardiac arrests, a stroke and a belief she died on the operating table.
Australian police have decided against a criminal prosecution.
source: newshub archive