Apple gives the boot to dev who allegedly fabricated cancer story

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Disgraced app developer Belle Gibson was profiled on many TV shows, including "Australia's No. 1 breakfast show." Photo: Sunrise
Photo: Sunrise

An Australian indie developer who was flown to Cupertino by Apple to work on an Apple Watch app alongside giants like Twitter and BMW has come under fire for reportedly falsifying a story about suffering from terminal cancer.

Created by healthy-living proponent Belle Gibson, iPhone food app The Whole Pantry has been pulled from the App Store, while an accompanying Apple Watch app has vanished from Apple’s list of “coming soon” apps for its upcoming wearable.

tries out an Apple Watch in 2014.
Belle Gibson tries out an Apple Watch in 2014.
Gibson is the latest in a long line of celebrities and journalists to be pilloried for making unsubstantiated claims or publishing lies. It’s becoming a common cycle as the constant churn of news leads to a quick blast of headlines followed by a withering fall from grace once the fact-checkers arrive.

Gibson’s story was challenged last week when the 26-year-old entrepreneur, who claimed to have treated her terminal brain cancer without conventional medicine, admitted she had been “misdiagnosed.”

Close friends have come forward to say they didn’t believe the diagnosis, while medical experts have said they find the story unbelievable.

Since then, the media spotlight that turned Gibson into a star has returned — this time with a negative focus.

Gibson has allegedly failed to give thousands of dollars accumulated through fundraising to charity, prompting a blistering response from the press and the public.

“I do think it’s important for myself and the company to recognize everyone’s anger and confusion surrounding this last week, though this doesn’t justify how others have perpetuated this or responded so maliciously,” she told the Daily Mail.

Gibson has also lost book deals with Penguin and Atria Books as part of the furor.

The Whole Pantry app is no longer coming soon. Photo: Apple
The Whole Pantry app is no longer coming soon. Photo: Apple

Source: Sydney Morning Herald