Belle Gibson claimed to have given a quarter of her profits to charity — but now, questions are being raised about how much of those donations were actually received.
The prominent cancer survivor and social media entrepreneur failed to turn over thousands of donated dollars to charity, as promised.
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Belle Gibson, the Melbourne-based creator of health and wellness app The Whole Pantry, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2010.
The 26-year-old mother attributes her survival to her healthy lifestyle — a philosophy which would come to shape her digital empire, including a successful app and cook book.
Last year, Ms Gibson claimed $300,000 of her profits had been given to five charities listed on her app – including Melbourne’s Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and One Girl.
She also claims in her book writes that “a large part of everything” earned is donated to various causes, Fairfax Media reports.
Fairfax reports that when questioned, Ms Gibson was unable to list the organisations to whom she had allegedly donated — and indeed, confirmed donations from Ms Gibson and The Whole Pantry add up to a mere $7000.
Some contributions were never made because app sales were not as high as forecast, the entrepreneur told Fairfax Media.
“We have not yet donated the naive, yet confident amount of $300,000, considering the very quickly [arising] issues with cash flow versus growth, providing content, managing external expectations,” she said.
“It was with nothing but good intention that we publicised that a percentage of profit from the app will be donated to charity. The intentions always were and still are to give back. The execution of this has obviously been flawed.”