Belle’s gambling accounts revealed
A Federal Court has heard fake cancer patient Belle Gibson has been using a Sportsbet account and dealing with cryptocurrency, despite claiming she has no money to pay towards a $410,000 fine.
Gibson is being questioned by a lawyer for Consumer Affairs Victoria this afternoon. She is trying to explain why she has not paid a single cent towards the fine she incurred for faking terminal brain cancer to make a profit.
The revelation that Gibson has a sports betting account came after her lawyer provided the court with two years worth of bank statements and other financial matters.
Under questioning from lawyer Elle Nikou Madalin, Gibson told the court she did not think cryptocurrency was “an asset or an investment”.
“All of my cryptocurrency trading is available through my bank statements,” Gibson said.
She said she will happily provide access to her cryptocurrency account “now that you’ve brought it to my attention”.
Gibson has been receiving Centrelink payments for the past two years and her friend who she lives with pays the rent at her Northcote home.
“I contribute when I can,” Gibson said.
Asked how often she contributes to the rent, she said “it varies”.
“We have a verbal agreement that he will pay half and I will pay half but I’m not always able to do that,” she said.
Asked whether she knows how much she owes her partner, she said “there is no record as such”.
Gibson’s lawyer objected to a line of questioning from prosecutors after Ms Nikou Madalin asked Gibson whether she “owns all the clothes” she wore today and “can you tell me the labels?”
Mr Tragardh said the questions were “absurd” and “absolutely extraordinary”.
Ms Nikou Madalin said the questions about the labels Gibson wears help her understand exactly where her money is being spent.
Gibson said she could not be sure whether she received any money for sponsored posts on Instagram, both for her personal account or for the Whole Pantry account. Gibson said she did not know and had “not familiarised myself with the business”.
She was asked whether 60 Minutes paid her $75,000 for an interview. She said she did not remember the exact amount she was paid, but that the entire amount was exhausted on legal fees.
Gibson told the court she has $50 available to her and “between $1800 and $2000” in cryptocurrency.
Earlier, Gibson, 27, was swamped by reporters and photographers as she walked into the Federal Court building in Melbourne to explain why she has failed to pay a single cent of the fine issued in 2017.
Gibson wore a black trench coat and a long black skirt with glasses. Her hair was tied back in a bun as she sat behind her lawyer.
Andrew Tragardh, representing Gibson, handed over two years worth of his client’s bank statements for the court to examine and said Gibson does not have enough money to afford ongoing legal fees.
“Significantly, my client does not have unlimited resources,” he told the court.
He also said lawyers for Consumer Affairs Victoria were subjecting the cancer conwoman to “unnecessary stress” by refusing to examine the documents in court today and asking for an adjournment so they can be “forensically” examined overnight.
Mr Tragardh called the request “highly unacceptable”.
“Ms Gibson has done everything she’s been asked to do,” he said.
Elle Nikou Madalin, appearing on behalf of Consumer Affairs, said Gibson “may not want to face the media again” but that the stress it causes her is “secondary”.
During a break outside court, Gibson was overheard by reporters saying it’s “sad” that media are covering her case and that other “more important” cases should be covered instead.
The self-described wellness guru, who lied about her terminal brain cancer diagnosis to dupe Australians out of more than $578,000, was found guilty of five breaches of consumer laws.
She made the money via the Whole Pantry cookbook and app after telling consumers she had been cured of cancer by healthy eating.
More than 300,000 sufferers made purchases from her before the fake cancer story emerged in 2015.
Although Gibson received hundreds of thousands of dollars from sales of her app and book, she only donated about $10,000 to charity.
Justice Debra Mortimer told Gibson in September she had a “relentless obsession with herself”.
In November, Justice Mortimer issued a warning to Gibson that failure to pay the penalty would make her liable for jail, property seizures or other punishment.
Earlier this year, A Current Affair revealed that Gibson treated herself to luxury trip to East Africa.
“Don’t you think it’s more important to be paying back that fine rather than going on an overseas trip?” a reporter asked Gibson upon her return to Australia. The 27-year-old smirked and walked towards her car.
The matter has been adjourned until June 6. Gibson is required to attend on that date.