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Court orders health blogger to pay 275,000 euros
Some people pretend to be cared for. Such suffer from a mental illness. But there are even people who pretend to be seriously ill to take other people's money out of their pockets. You play with the empathy of the other person. This is what happened in Australia. The case caused a stir and ended up in court.
A young blogger was convicted in Australia for inventing cancer, which she said she was able to cure with special natural therapy. Annabelle Natalie Gibson, however, has been proven never to have cancer and apparently used the illusion only to enrich herself.
“Belle” Gibson is said to have earned hundreds of thousands of euros from the sale of books and health apps by inventing cancer and its subsequent healing. Now the young woman has been sentenced to the equivalent of around 275,000 euros in front of the Australian Federal Court of Australia. The court followed most of the allegations made by the consumer director in Victoria, who filed the lawsuit. The blogger had never been diagnosed with cancer and, moreover, did not pass on the funds raised as donations, as originally promised, the court ruled.
Brain Tumor Invented To Sell Books?
Federal judge Debbie Mortimer said in her ruling that the defendant was found guilty in most but not all respects. The 25-year-old has been proven to lie about the disease of a brain tumor and then enriched himself by selling books and apps. She donated only a small fraction of the money raised to non-profit organizations, although she originally promised to pass on a large part of the money. In total, the blogger now has to pay a fine of 410,000 Australian dollars (around 273,000 euros).
Deception of consumers
Whether the defendant knew from the outset that she was healthy, or whether she actually imagined the disease to be a brain tumor, could not be conclusively clarified, the court said in the judgment now published. "It seems, at least in some ways, open whether Ms. Gibson has suffered a number of delusions about her health," said judge Debbie Mortimer. In any case, however, she deceived the consumers and pretended that cancer was being cured by measures such as healthy eating and Ayurvedic medicine. She then enriched herself personally with books and apps on these methods without donating a large part of the money as promised. (fp)