Belle Gibson adopted, changes her name

 

Belle Gibson's latest public appearance is much different from the last time we saw her shielding her face with big black sunglasses and walking into court.

The disgraced wellness blogger who lied to Australia about her terminal cancer diagnosis to scam hundreds of thousands of dollars now wears a headscarf and calls herself Sabontu.

In footage that surfaced today from a Melbourne-based Ethiopian community group meeting, Gibson reveals her new name and speaks at length about the ongoing plight of people from "back home" in Oromo, a region of Ethiopia.

Belle Gibson has changed her name and been adopted by an Ethiopian community.
Belle Gibson has changed her name and been adopted by an Ethiopian community.

"My heart is deeply embedded in the Oromo people. I feel blessed to be adopted by you," she tells a reporter from Shabo Media.

Gibson discusses in detail the political situation in Ethiopia, particularly the "oppression of the Oromo people".

In the video filmed in October last year, Gibson also mentions how the Melbourne-based Oromo community is aiming to raise money.

"Our community discussed the current situation back home, we covered the history of (Prime Minister) Abiy (Ahmed's) position in Ethiopia," she says.

Belle’s new name is Sabontu. Picture: Facebook
Belle’s new name is Sabontu. Picture: Facebook

"We came forward with a solution after that discussion. We discussed looking forward to the future and doing a community grouping to raise large amounts of money for the ongoing support of Oromia.

"We touched on the power that we have in the diaspora around the world to call on our local governments to provide support and assistance against the oppression of Oromo people. I think all of us were positive and hopeful for change after hundreds of years oppression against Oromos."

The video emerged one day after Gibson's Northcote home was raided and some of her assets were seized as part of an attempt to recoup a six-figure fine she incurred from Consumer Affairs Victoria for lying about having cancer to make a profit.

Belle Gibson leaves the Federal Court in Melbourne in June last year. Picture: David Crosling/AAP
Belle Gibson leaves the Federal Court in Melbourne in June last year. Picture: David Crosling/AAP

The fine, handed down in September 2017, originally stood at $410,000. It has now ballooned to more than $500,000 including fines, interest and other penalties.

In 2015 it was revealed that Gibson had lied about her cancer and used it to raise more than $300,000 via her start-up The Whole Pantry, which she made into a cookbook and app.

It was revealed in Federal Court in June last year that while Gibson claims to have no money to pay towards her fine - and has not paid a cent - she had been dabbling in cryptocurrency and using a SportsBet account. She had also donated some money towards the Flint Water Crisis and taken several holidays.

A financial analysis by Consumer Affairs Victoria showed the 28-year-old had spent about $91,000 between 2017 and June 2018.

Part of that included vacations to Bali and Africa.

More to come


IN COURT: Full list of 55+ people Proserpine court today

premium_icon IN COURT: Full list of 55+ people Proserpine court today

Every week the Whitsunday Times publishes a full list of those due in...

‘She’s my world’: Husband remembers fun, outgoing wife

premium_icon ‘She’s my world’: Husband remembers fun, outgoing wife

He spoke to his wife just 15 minutes before fatal head-on crash.

Australia's best news deal:  Just $1 for the first 28 days

premium_icon Australia's best news deal: Just $1 for the first 28 days

Get the latest local news first from just $1 for the first 28 days