Don’t ask me to feel sorry for Belle Gibson.
But, let’s face it, this turn-about was unlikely motivated by remorse or a burning desire to apologise to the thousands of sick people The Whole Pantry founder conned into believing she had cured her own terminal brain cancer with a healthy diet and positive thinking.
Instead, rumours are swirling that the 24-year-old mother will be paid a five-figure sum for the interview, in which she promises to tell “the whole truth”.
Watch the promo clip here (post continues after video):
Gibson’s empire began to unravel in February this year, when it was revealed she never deposited funds she claimed would be donated to charity. It wasn’t long before Belle admitted she never had cancer to begin with.
In a promotional clip for the interview, journalist Tara Brown rightly asks her: “How can we believe anything you say now?”
Belle responds: “Tara, I have lost everything.”
But that is where she’s wrong.
Belle still has her little boy. She possibly has a five-figure pay cheque, her reward for deceiving a nation. And, most importantly, Belle still has a future.
She is not the victim here.
The actual victims? Are the thousands of people she deceived who have lost everything.
They have lost hope. They have lost the precious, precious time they invested in the snake-oil cure touted by a smiling con-artist. And some have lost their battles with the deadly diseases one wouldn’t wish upon their worst enemy, let alone pretend to have suffered.
See more of Belle Gibson here (post continues after the gallery):
The victims are people like Ashton Taylor, a 21-year-old who has endured 16 brain surgeries and followed Belle’s teachings, hoping for a miracle cure for her condition.
“You had terminal brain cancer. YOU survived, so I thought I could rid myself of my illness as well. How idiotic I feel right now for believing you,” she wrote after learning of the lie.
In a feat of maturity beyond her years, the Perth woman now says Belle must show genuine remorse to be forgiven.
She told Daily Mail Australia her message to Belle was “please get help” and go and visit her estranged mum.
Other cancer sufferers have been enraged by Belle’s comments that aired in the promo, including: “I’m not trying to get away with anything” and “I’ve been really transparent”.
Many have taken to 60 Minutes’ Facebook page to vent their disgust that the Nine network is giving the cancer faker more air time.
“I certainly won’t be watching. Nothing she can say will make up for what she’s done to those affected by her lies. Why give her any airtime?” Julie Fuller comments.
“How dare she say she’s ‘lost everything’. She’s still alive, isn’t she? She didn’t lose everything. Not like real cancer patients and their loved ones,” Sharyn Mallia writes.
And that’s exactly the point.
Nothing Belle can say will make up for the pain she caused to thousands of people already suffering, and their loved ones, by selling them false hope and empty promises.
On Sunday, a proven liar will steal back the limelight – and apparently make a tidy sum for her troubles.
We hope, at the very least, there is an apology.
And we hope more than anything that the real victims of this sham are still around to hear it.
For more on Belle Gibson, try these articles:
Will you be tuning in on Sunday?