A blogger and app founder who claimed to have cured her terminal brain cancer with healthy eating has admitted she was lying about her illness the whole time.
Belle Gibson launched a book and mobile app, both called The Whole Pantry, on the back of her story of how she treated her cancer on diet and lifestyle choices alone.
Her story began to come undone after it was revealed the 23-year-old failed to donate A$300,000 (£155,000, US$233,000) from the sales of her app to charity as promised, and questions arose surrounding the diagnosis of her cancer.
Gibson withdrew from the public as her claims about how she cured her cancer came under increasing scrutiny.
Speaking to the Australian Women's Weekly, Gibson has now admitted how "none of it's true" with regards to her cancer.
"I don't want forgiveness," she said. "I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, 'Okay, she's human.'"
Gibson claimed she was told she only had months to live after been diagnosed with a terminal, malignant brain cancer in 2009.
She said she shunned medical treatment and instead treated her condition with a whole-food diet.
She launched The Whole Pantry app to share her recipe ideas and health tips, which went on to be downloaded 300,000 times at a cost of $3.79.
This lead to a book with the same name being published and Gibson declared an "inspiration" to other cancer sufferers as well as a spokesperson for health and wellbeing.
However, doubts about her story continued following claims she had also been diagnosed with cancers of the liver, kidney, uterus, spleen and blood.
She later said she had been misdiagnosed by a German "magnetic therapy" doctor who she never named, but insisted her brain cancer was still legitimate. Throughout this time, she did not reveal her medical records to reporters despite requests to do so.
"During the interviews, whenever challenged, Belle cried easily and muddled her words," the Australian Women's Weekly reports.
"She says she is passionate about avoiding gluten, dairy and coffee, but doesn't really understand how cancer works."
Gibson never fully explains why she lied during the interview, but believes her "troubled" childhood may have caused her to do so.
The magazine suggests she may suffer from a psychological condition called factitious disorder or Munchausen syndrome, which leads people to lie about a condition or illness for sympathy.
Forensic psychologist Dr Mitchell Byrne claimed social media could exacerbate the condition.
He said: "Factitious disorder is self-driving and self-perpetuating, maintained by the attention that people receive. Sufferers who use social media have a wider audience and therefore a greater propensity to receive the attention they are looking for by pretending to have the illness."
Both her book and app were removed from sale as her cancer claims became suspicious.