Shamed Apple dev admits faking cancer to increase sales

Shamed Apple dev admits faking cancer to increase sales

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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

Australian indie developer Belle Gibson — known for her iOS app The Whole Pantry — has publicly admitted that she made up a story about suffering from terminal brain cancer to boost profits.

“No. None of it’s true,” she told The Australian Women’s Weekly magazine when asked if she had ever had cancer. “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.”

The 26-year-old entrepreneur based her business around telling others how she had overcome cancer through “healthy living” and without the use of conventional medicine. Apple was seemingly so taken with the story that it flew her to Cupertino to work on delivering one of the first wave of Apple Watch apps — although this has since been pulled.

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

Gibson had previously admitted to being “misdiagnosed” by doctors, although it now seems that none of the story was true to begin with. In addition to the Apple publicity, Gibson also won (and subsequently lost) book deals with Penguin and Atria Books, while additionally raising thousands of dollars for charity and then allegedly failing to hand it over.

“I don’t want forgiveness, I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do,” Gibson says in the new interview. “Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘Okay, she’s human.'”

In all, the story is a pretty appalling one. Using a faked sob story to sell apps is bad enough, but the fact that doing so could also have a negative impact on others, by convincing genuine sufferers to skip out on legitimate treatment in terms of alternative methods, is downright reprehensible.

Source: News.com.au