Cookbook pulled after author Belle Gibson accused of faking cancer
An author who marketed her book using her story of survival from terminal cancer is being accused of lying about her life-threatening illness.
Belle Gibson, 23, is the success story behind The Whole Pantry, a popular app that promotes healthy living.
The app also led to her writing a recipe book based on her backstory in which she claims her disease was treated without the help of conventional medicine - but by adopting a healthy diet.
But her publisher Penguin Books has pulled her book from shelves after former friends raised doubts about her story.
The Daily Mail reports angry fans and customers began demanding a refund after photos emerged of Gibson partying during the time she claimed to be eating right and living a healthy lifestyle.
The author was criticized after an interview with The Australian in which comments she made raised questions of whether she ever had cancer.
The publisher, which never confirmed her health claims in the beginning, said, "Despite our best endeavors, Penguin Books has not received sufficient explanation from Ms Gibson, author of The Whole Pantry recipe book, in response to recent allegations. As such, we have been left with no other option but to stop supplying the book in Australia. We remain hopeful that we will receive the formal assurances we have requested in the coming days."
A former friend told Guardian Australia, "I distanced myself from her after realizing something was a bit off. She also lied to me about her age and claimed to be much older than she is ... She has such influence, with 300,000 downloads of her app and people giving up their medical treatments to follow what she does, and it just didn't sit right with me."Gibson is also facing backlash over her company's profits that were supposed to be donated to charity but never made it due to "cash flow problems" and "unforeseen delays," according to a Facebook post.
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