Belle Gibson was interviewed by 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown on Sunday, and the fallout from her muddled story is continuing.
After Belle was reportedly paid $45,000 for the opportunity to speak the “truth”, many viewers and former followers were incensed at the non-answers given throughout the interview.
In April Belle was forced to admit she didn’t actually have brain cancer after profiting from her wellness App and cookbook, the Whole Pantry, which claimed she was “curing” her cancer with healthy eating.
It is still unclear whether she will donate the promised $300,000 from her $1 million in profits to cancer research; but a leading psychologist has pointed out one major problem with the interview, 60 Minutes are accused or exploiting a mentally unstable woman for ratings.
Belle promised to tell the whole truth on Sunday night, but what has Channel 9 done to protect her from the social media fallout?
The hashtag #bellegibson, was blowing up during and after the show, with some users ruthless as their anger about the whole scandal overflowed into their Twitters:
I can’t imagine how traumatising NOT having cancer must be #60mins
— Kim Stephens (@kimstephens_bt) June 28, 2015
— Luke Delaney (@_delar21) June 28, 2015
It’s interesting how fast some ppl rush to say “mental illness” when someone does something heinous we can’t understand. #BelleGibson
— Mia Freedman (@MiaFreedman) June 28, 2015
But other Twitter users raised some excellent points regarding her mental health:
— Amber Jane (@Ambi_Halo) June 28, 2015
I am concerned for the health of #BelleGibson She may not have cancer but she sure as hell has some serious mental issues.
— Danny Clayton (@DannyjClayton) June 28, 2015
Leading psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg told the Daily Telegraph that the producers of the show had a duty of care to Belle, and they should offer psychological help to her if they haven’t already.
He said that although he hasn’t spoken to Belle himself, it doesn’t take a psychologist to figure out she isn’t well.
”It was excruciating to watch and I express some degree of disappointment that Channel 9 aired (the interview) because it is so patently obvious that she’s not well. Really, is whatever they paid her, if they paid her, enough to exploit someone like that?” Dr Carr-Gregg said.
He has a personal interest in the story, being one of the founders of CanTeen – a support group for young cancer sufferers.
He said despite being angry the overwhelming feeling he feels for Belle is one of “sympathy”.
“I have one piece of advice for Belle Gibson and that is please get some help and don’t do any more TV,” he said.
How old is Belle Gibson?
The biggest lie revealed through the interview was that Belle was unclear with how old she is.
Tara Brown tries to confirm the simple question: “How old are you?” and gets a myriad of strange answers.
“I’ve been raised as being currently a 26 year old”.
“I live knowing as I have always known that I am 26.”
“I believe that I am 26.”
“I have two birth certificates. I have changed my name four times.”
“I’ll need to keep digging.”
When Tara told her the that according to her latest poll documentation she is 23, Belle replied: “Correct.”
In documents revealed by the editor of Australian Women’s Weekly, Helen McCabe, Belle is 23.
It has been confirmed that she was born on October 8, 1991, in a birth certificate provided by her mother, Natalie.
McCabe told B&T: “It was hard to get to the bottom of what is true but we checked her birth certificate and she’s definitely 23-years-old. We also saw her school reports.”
She also expressed concern after AWW spent a lot of time with Belle when they interviewed her for the May issue.
“We spent a lot of time with Belle and her family and I’m not a doctor but I think there are some serious issues around her and mental health. I hope she gets help.”