Apple exposed over Belle Gibson affair

“A series of private messages from executives at Apple have shed light on the extent of the global tech giant’s relationship with disgraced Australian wellness blogger, Belle Gibson,” Nick Toscano and Beau Donelly report for The Sydney Morning Herald. “Apple, which has remained silent for more than two years over its partnership with Ms Gibson, launched a marketing strategy to actively promote its star app developer and her unverified story around the world.”

“‘A single mum who was diagnosed with brain cancer, Belle turned to whole food cooking and eating,’ said an email from Apple that was sent to selected Australian media. ‘She wanted to share what she had learnt but didn’t want to use a website or blog. Belle decided she wanted to build an app for iPhone and iPad,'” Toscano and Donelly report. “In documents tendered to the courts as part of legal action against Ms Gibson, Apple said the public relations strategy was implemented almost immediately after The Whole Pantry app went live in August 2013. ‘Once Apple saw the app,’ the company told the Federal Court of Australia, ‘it was decided that Apple Australia would make an effort to introduce the developer (Annabelle Gibson) to the Australian media.'”

Disgraced Australian wellness blogger, Belle Gibson
Disgraced Australian wellness blogger, Belle Gibson
“Emails back and forth between senior Apple staff and Ms Gibson speak volumes about how closely she had been embraced by the company. They begin with ‘Hello darling one’ or ‘Lovely’ or ‘Sweetest,’ and sign off with kisses,” Toscano and Donelly report. “In the acknowledgements section of her book, Ms Gibson singles out three Apple staff, describing Luke Bevans, the Apple App Store manager for Australia and New Zealand, as her mentor… Even after the first news stories began exposing Gibson’s lies, in March 2015, copies of private messages seen by Fairfax Media reveal Apple staff were unwavering in their support of Ms Gibson… Internal emails from the tech giant reveal she had a particularly close relationship with one Apple staffer, whom sources have described as her ‘handler’ in Australia.”

“A week after the news of Ms Gibson’s con broke – and it was clear she had become a liability – a flurry of panicked correspondence was exchanged between Apple’s Australian offices and its US headquarters in California. The scandal broke on the eve of Apple’s smart watch launch in 2015, which was to have featured The Whole Pantry as one of its central apps. Ms Gibson had been working with Apple in secret on the smart watch version of her app,” Toscano and Donelly report. “Apple’s senior PR manager in America, Ted Miller, and Matt Fischer, vice-president of the App Store, were notified of the scandal and plans to sever ties with Ms Gibson.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Beyond the fact that one should never underestimate the power of a pretty face, you can see how Apple might have been seduced by Gibson’s con, given Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ medical history:

[Steve Jobs died] after a pancreatic tumour spread elsewhere, delayed having operations and chemotherapy for nine months after the disease was discovered in October 2003.
In spite of pleas from family and friends, he tried to cure himself through acupuncture sessions, drinking special fruit juices, visiting ‘spiritualists’ and using other treatments he found on the internet. Some cancer experts have said that Mr Jobs may have extended his life or even survived if he had promptly tackled his cancer aggressively with scientifically proven medical treatments.

[Biographer Walter Isaacson] said that before he died the 56-year-old had come to realise that he had made a mistake. “We talked about this a lot,” Isaacson told a television interview. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it. I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.” Asked why “such a smart man could do such a stupid thing”, Isaacson said: “I think he felt: if you ignore something you don’t want to exist, you can have magical thinking. It had worked for him in the past. He would regret it.”

Isaacson states in the book that several other Jobs confidantes, including Mona Simpson, his sister, and Art Levinson, an Apple board member, pushed him to embrace conventional medicine. “I told him he was crazy,” said Andrew Grove, the former head of the computer chip company Intel. When he eventually agreed to treatment, Mr Jobs went to great expense to ensure that he was given the most pioneering work available…Jon Swaine, The Telegraph, October 21, 2011

Steve Jobs tried everything from exotic diets to cutting-edge treatments in brave battle with cancer – October 21, 2011
Biographer: Steve Jobs refused early and potentially life-saving surgery for nine months (with video) – October 20, 2011
Doctor: There’s no way of knowing if nine-month surgery delay shortened Steve Jobs’ life – October 15, 2011
Harvard Medical School researcher: Steve Jobs’ trust in alternative medicine likely shortened his life – October 14, 2011


  1. Belle Gibson is holden the torch of great cons, that so many of her nation aspire to, especially of who she’s conned. I’m sure this is making those down under feeling especially smug and figuring it’s time to celebrate and play the con’s anthem, from non other than sex offender con Rolf Harris.

  2. It would never occur to me that someone would lie about having cancer. If for no other reason that’s like asking the god of irony to bitch slap the crap out of you.

    In early March 2015, after media reporting identified Gibson’s fraudulent claims of charity fundraising and donation-making, further media investigation soon revealed that Gibson had also fabricated her stories of cancer, and lied about her age as well as other details of her personal life and history. Concerns were expressed that Gibson had led a profligate lifestyle, renting an upmarket town house, leasing a luxury car and office space, undergoing cosmetic dental procedures, purchasing designer clothes and holidaying internationally, on money claimed to have been raised or destined for charity.[5]

  3. Mmm… There are plenty of success stories from people who have done very well with wholistic approaches to the most aggressive conditions. I’m sure somebody benefits from pointing out the apparent failure Steve Jobs and other high profile celebrity have experienced. Conventional health care is before all a business. Never forget it. And science is proven wrong on a regular basis… That said, to each his own…

    1. is my father who’s been a life long smoker (about a pack/day), who intakes his fair share of fat/sugar/salt. His parents lived until 90/avg and lived similarly. Conventional/unconventional; you can’t attribute to either with surety. I think longevity has as much to do with lack of stress and a good dose of mental well being than choice of “med” care. Then again, one of the most infamous, nasty and evil persons of our day, died today at 83. So much for my thought on longevity and mental well being.

    2. To paraphrase Tim Minchin:

      Alternative medicine has either not been shown to work, or has been shown to not work.

      Do you know what they call alternative medicine that has been shown to work?


    3. Steve Jobs was entirely regretful of the time he wasted on wholistic medicine and wished he’d started on proven medicine from the start. Please do your homework.

      Meanwhile, unless there is a know negative interaction, both strategies, as well as keeping a positive mind, can be used together. Obviously, the best thing to do, if you like wholistic medicine, is to use it alongside proven medicine before you get ill, with of course your doctor’s approval. Example: Maximize your intake of healthy vegetables and minimize the dead animals and corporate processed crap.

      Read the product contents, research what they are and how they interact with our bodies. Example: There is no sane or practical reason to eat or drink propylene glycol, aka radiator fluid. It’s alternative, glycerin, is a natural nutrient. Etc.


  4. Wholistic approach is no different than conventional; there are suckers, promoters, believers and unbelievers in each camp that take advantages that they can to promote their viewpoint rather than the qualitative possibilities of each.

    I have a close friend who was discovered with pancreatic cancer 14 months ago (25mm spot); today he is cancer free. It helped that his BIL is an MD and was determined to find out an unrelated but debilitating medical problem; IN the process, they discovered the cancer in its early stages. There are success stories in conventional medical practice also.

  5. He prayed, fasted and went on fad diets- everything but embrace peer reviewed medical science.

    Steve Jobs was given a rare gift among people with Pancreatic Cancer- early detection of a kind that is treatable with surgery alone if caught early. The odds are had he listened to his doctors he could be running Apple or enjoying retirement instead of being dead.

    A Whipple procedure (surgical removal of the removal of the head of the pancreas, duodenum, proximal jejunum, gallbladder, and part of the stomach) is not a pleasant thing to contemplate, but it beats dying young.

  6. Put the blame where it belongs. This is an Apple Marketing blunder specific to Aus. I can’t imagine the Mothership approving of lovey dovey emotional huggy kissy involvement with any developer or blogger. Watch for someone getting fired over this, aka redundancy. 🤬🤯💥🔥

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