When two journalists for The Age first started looking into Belle Gibson, they quickly hit a roadblock.
Beau Donelly and Nick Toscano had spoken to a number of sources who told them that Gibson, who at the time had a successful cookbook and app called The Whole Pantry, was faking cancer. The problem, however, was that journalists don’t have access to a person’s medical records. There was no way for them to prove she was lying.
But after some back and forth, Donelly had a thought: “We just figured,” he told Techly, “if she’s lying about this, she’ll be lying about other things.”
It was that line of thinking that led them towards Gibson’s claims that she had donated tens of thousands of dollars to charity. Of course, the charities in question had never heard of her.
Donelly and Toscano decided to publish the story about Gibson’s false claims of charitable donations, knowing it would inevitably lead to questions about her cancer story.
Within half an hour, it did. The next day, that lie started to publicly unravel. As did countless others.
Listen: Where did Belle Gibson’s fortune go? Post continues after audio.
In the four years since, these are the other inconsistencies that have been discovered in the story Belle Gibson was telling.
How old is Belle Gibson?
If you Google this question, the generated response is: ‘About 27 years’.
The confusion comes from the fact that at the height of her fame, Gibson claimed to be three years older than she actually was.
When Tara Brown asked Gibson for her age during her appearance on 60 Minutes in 2015, she couldn’t provide a coherent response.
Despite her birth records showing she was 23 at the time, Gibson told Brown, “I’ve always been raised as being currently a 26-year-old”. She said she had two birth certificates and that her name had been changed four times.
Is Belle Gibson married?
Gibson has been linked to a man named Clive Rothwell since at least 2015, when she first received media attention.
In February 2018, Daily Mail Australia published photos of Gibson wearing what appeared to be an engagement ring, and it was widely believed she had become engaged to the South Australian man.
In court this week, however, when asked for details about her relationship with Clive, she said they were not romantically involved. In fact, despite currently living with Clive, and him paying rent, as well as her legal fees, she said she doesn’t know what he does for a living. “It’s not my business,” she told the court, after it was revealed that she owes him $90,000.