Video shows publisher's worries over fake wellness blogger Belle Gibson

  • 14/09/2016
Video shows publisher's worries over fake wellness blogger Belle Gibson

Publishing giant Penguin had concerns about wellness blogger Belle Gibson's lies before publishing her book, it's been revealed.

The video interview with the publisher was used against Gibson in Melbourne's Federal Court.

It's alleged Gibson misled customers by falsely claiming she healed her terminal cancer naturally.

Gibson never had cancer.

Penguin staff interviewed Gibson ahead of the 2014 release of The Whole Pantry, discussing her claims of being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and her controversial treatment claims.

In the book, Gibson claims to have cured herself by simply living a healthy lifestyle.

The interview was designed to prepare Gibson for questions from sceptical journalists.

"We're here to help you come to what you want to be saying about you and your life, and your cancer, and your book and your family, and all those things," a senior Penguin staffer says.

The video shows a rambling Gibson giving vague explanations on her alternative treatment therapy.

"They're like, 'Where are these results coming from?'" says Gibson in the interview. "And I know. It's a medicine which is respected throughout Europe and not here in Australia yet."

Penguin has admitted it failed to sufficiently fact-check the book and was ordered to pay NZ$30,800.

All subsequent books about natural therapy from the publisher must contain disclaimers to explain the methods are not evidence-based.

"I think you really need to get your story straight about the charities," the Penguin interviewer says. "I think they're going to go there with that."

The court heard she earned more than $420,000 in donations and gave just $10,000 to charity.

Gibson faces penalties of up to $1.1 million.