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Belle Gibson, The Whole Pantry

Brent Parker Jones/Simon & Schuster

Many questioned whether or not Belle Gibson lied about her terminal cancer diagnosis in order to promote her cookbook and lifestyle app, The Whole Pantry, and now we have our answer. She made it all up.

In an interview with Australian Women's Weekly, the wellness guru admits to making all of it up. "No … None of it's true," she confessed to the publication. "I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality. I have lived it and I'm not really there yet."

Her business was based on the claim that she healed her terminal brain cancer through diet and lifestyle changes alone, but speculation began to surface when Fairfax Media revealed she had raised money for five charities that had no record of receiving any donations from her.

The publisher also confirmed that it never verified Gibson's claims and diagnoses, which included cancers of the liver, spleen, kidney and blood, telling The Daily Mail, "We did not feel this was necessary as The Whole Pantry is a collection of food recipes, which Penguin has published in good faith," a spokesperson for the publisher said. "We are concerned about the questions raised in recent days—we'll discuss them with Belle as ultimately only she can answer the questions."

In the story titled My Life-Long Struggle With the Truth, the 23-year-old author doesn't reveal her motivation for lying but instead talks about her troublesome childhood has affected her.

"If I don't have an answer, then I will sort of theorise it myself and come up with one," she told the weekly. "I think that's an easy thing to often revert to if you don't know what the answer is.

"When I started school, my mum went, 'My daughter is grown up now,'" she added. "All of a sudden I was walking to school on my own, making school lunches and cleaning the house every day. It was my responsibility to do grocery shopping, do the washing, arrange medical appointments and pick up my brother. I didn't have any toys."

She since has said that she is estranged from her mother.

Her Australian and overseas publishers, including Penguin, have pulled her new cookbook from shelves and her award-winning app is no longer available for purchase. It was also going to be one of the first apps released for the Apple Watch, but those plans have also been tossed.

She also said that she came forward with the truth because "it was the responsible thing to do."

"Above anything, I would like people to say, 'Okay, she's human. She's obviously had a big life. She's respectfully come to the table and said what she's needed to say, and now it's time for her to grow and heal," she said. 

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