Wellness fraud Belle Gibson facing legal action
A FORMER wellness blogger and author who was exposed as a fraud may be forced to issue a public apology to Australian consumers.
Belle Gibson falsely claimed she had multiple forms of cancer, including terminal brain cancer, and had been able to cure these diseases through diet and natural therapies.
She told fans she had been given only four months to live but had been able to cure herself through 'whole foods'.
Her claims became the basis for her smartphone app and book named The Whole Pantry.
An investigation by The Australian newspaper exposed her claims as false last year after charities Ms Gibson said she was raising money for never received the donations.
Earlier this week, Consumer Affairs Victoria was given permission to pursue legal action against Ms Gibson.
AAP reported the consumer watchdog had launched a Federal Court action on Friday against Ms Gibson's business, which is in liquidation.
As well as pursuing a fine, AAP reported the watchdog would also call for Ms Gibson to publish an apology.
The court documents reportedly showed Ms Gibson's business was paid $263,947 to publish a book, which was on the shelves for five months before it was pulled.
In a statement announcing they would pursue legal action earlier this month, CAV director Simon Cohen said book publisher Penguin had also agreed to an enforceable undertaking.
Penguin published Ms Gibson's book without substantiating her claims.
"Included in the terms of the enforceable undertaking is that Penguin will make a $30,000 donation to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund," the statement said.