"Clive" is paying for Belle Gibson's life. So who the hell is he?


Following the total and utter sh*tshow that was Belle Gibson’s court appearance on Tuesday, Mamamia is launching a new podcast, aptly titled ‘Who the hell is Clive?

Okay, we’re not actually, but surely we all agree that would be a very worthy use of our time.

Disgraced blogger Gibson, who claimed she had brain cancer that was cured through the alternative therapies plugged in her wellness app, The Whole Pantry, was fined $410,000 by the Federal Court after duping her Australian consumers – many of whom did actually have cancer – out of half a million dollars. She had promised to donate the proceeds to multiple charities.

The Quicky talks to The Age reporter, Tom Cowie, who was in the court on Tuesday. Post continues after podcast.

Since being issued with the fine in 2017, the 27-year-old has not paid a single cent, even after facing several warnings for not paying the fine for breaches of consumer laws. She claims she simply cannot afford to.

So her finances were examined in court on Tuesday, and yes, a fellow named Clive came up. A lot.

She told the court her housemate Clive, who she firmly asserted is NOT her partner but who in the past has been referred to in media coverage as her fiance, “gifted” her the money for her legal fees. He also paid her rent and for a month-long holiday in Africa for herself and her eight-year-old son.

But you see, she doesn’t even know what Clive does for a living or how much he earns. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Belle Gibson now
Belle Gibson leaves the Federal Court in Melbourne. Tuesday, May 14. Image: AAP.

She, her son and Clive share a small, weatherboard home in Melbourne's inner north. Clive has been helping Gibson financially for at least four years.

He pays $600 in rent each week and she contributes 'when she can', despite her owing him $90,000.

Many media outlets have identified him as 46-year-old South Australian-born Clive Rothwell (the Daily Mail very helpfully followed him as he cycled to work on Wednesday) but here at Mamamia we have further... questions.

  1. How can Clive afford to bankroll Gibson?
  2. Why does he do it?
  3. What does he... do?
  4. Is he in any way connected to another wealthy Clive whose presence we have not been able to shake in recent weeks?

Clive Rothwell has a very limited online footprint, so in order to answer our pressing questions we've spent approximately 30 minutes Googling terms such as "Who is Clive?", "Clive name meaning" and "Famous Clives".

clive palmer text
"My name's Clive and I'm famous."

This information may (or may not) be relevant, but here's what we found:

  • Clive and Belle Gibson have been dating but definitely not dating since before her lies were exposed.
  • Clive didn't know about her deceit and was "devastated but supportive", according to a article from 2015.
  • On Valentine's Day 2018, the Daily Mail published photos of Gibson wearing a ring many thought to be an engagement ring from Clive.
  • Facebook page Belle Gibson Uncovered said Clive Rothwell has "IT experience".
  • A LinkedIn page of "Clive Rothwell" listed experience as a 'scrum master' (this is not rugby union-related as first thought... it's just a weirdly named IT role) at RMIT University.
  • The Whole Pantry App domain was registered in Clive's name in 2013.
  • Clive also registered The Whole Life domain.
  • Clive likes to cycle.
  • According to a 2018 database by The Age, the name Clive peaked in popularity in 1935. It has not been in the top 100 names since 1947.
  • Parenting website Netmums also ranked Clive as their most unpopular name.
  • It's really hard to find out how many Clives there are in Australia.
  • The name Clive means: "lives near a high cliff".
  • There is a "Cliff St" in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra.
  • Famous Clives include Clive Burr, Clive Swift (sadly for him there is no relation to Taylor) and Clive Standen. Don't worry, we haven't heard of them either.
  • One Clive we have heard of - way too often, actually - is Clive Palmer.
  • Clive Palmer is now synonymous with Queensland but he was born in Victoria and also happens to be super wealthy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Look, we know that overall, our investigation found... not a lot. Maybe it's a good thing we skipped on making that podcast.