Australian cancer fraudster Belle Gibson claims she has been “adopted” by the Ethiopian community and refers to the African country as the “home” in a video which has surfaced online.
The convicted fraudster, who falsely claimed she had cured herself of cancer, appears in the 11-minute clip in which she wears a headscarf and talks about being taken in by the Ethiopian community.
In the interview with community media group Shabo Media, filmed in Melbourne in October, Gibson speaks at length about Ethiopian politics, praises “Allah” and refers to its residents as “our people.”
The video was posted online by members of Melbourne’s Oromo community, which is the biggest ethnic group in Ethiopia.
“My heart is deeply embedded in the Oromo people I feel blessed to be adopted by you,” she gushes in the clip.
Gibson, who has been given the alternative moniker Sabontu, talks about how she became involved with the group after volunteering four years earlier – around the time her scam was first exposed.
“I think this was a gift, a blessing that was given to me both by your people but also a blessing from our Lord,” she said in the clip.
“My involvement in the Oromo community has been for the last four years and it started through volunteering. Then I became deeply invested in the community because I saw the character and the values of your people.
“Through the rights of the Oromo I feel completely adopted by your nation and your people and I feel like my heart is as invested as yours and your families.”
Despite her troubled past, the interviewer claims Gibson is a role model for the community’s youth.
“She should be an example for young kids, she’s been proud Oromo,” he said.
Facebook commenters also heap praise on Gibson, seemingly undeterred by her criminal history.
“Good job babe u doing lovely job,” wrote one follower.
“We love you for standing with us,” wrote another.
In 2017, Gibson was fined $410,000 for breaching consumer law when she claimed she had brain cancer but healed herself through diet and alternative therapies, going on to make a profit from her cookbook The Whole Pantry and an app with the same name.
Gibson received $440,500 from sales of her app and book, but donated only about $10,000.
Her fine has now grown to more than half a million dollars with costs and interest. This week, her Melbourne home was raided for failing to pay the fine.