Michael Joseph has said it is “concerned about the issues raised” in a piece by The Australian newspaper about health blogger and author Belle Gibson, whose book has been scheduled for release in the UK later this year.
Gibson is the founder of The Whole Pantry app, which has also been turned into a recipe book due for UK publication on 23rd April. The Whole Pantry was said to be created following a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, with Gibson claiming that she had cured her illness purely through her diet and lifestyle.
But in an interview with The Australian Gibson admitted her claims of multiple cancers, which she announced last year, could be inaccurate, saying she was “misdiagnosed” by a doctor, but refusing to name the medical personnel involved.
The Australian said an investigation by the paper had uncovered a “series of unusual and contradictory medical claims by Gibson dating from May 2009, when she claimed to have undergone multiple heart surgery operations and momentarily died on an operating table”.
Jessica Jackson, acting head of publicity at Michael Joseph, told The Bookseller: “We are concerned about the issues raised and are seeking an explanation from Belle Gibson, and we have no further comment to make at this time.”
The book’s Australian publisher, Penguin, told the Daily Mail Australia that it did not seek confirmation on Gibson’s medical history.
A spokesperson told the newspaper: “Penguin did not seek or receive documentary evidence of Belle's medical condition or birth date prior to publication. We did not feel this was necessary as The Whole Pantry is a collection of food recipes, which Penguin has published in good faith.
“We are concerned about the questions raised in recent days - we'll discuss them with Belle as ultimately only she can answer the questions.”