Disgraced con artist Belle Gibson has embedded herself in a Melbourne Ethiopian community, saying her new life is a “blessing” and “gift”.
Gibson claimed to have terminal cancer which was cured through healthy eating, diet and alternative therapies and made almost $500,000 profit from the sale of a cookbook and The Whole Pantry app.
In 2009, Gibson said she had just four months to live before launching an Instagram account in 2013 and amassing a huge following.
In 2015, she was exposed as having lied about her cancer before legal proceedings were launched, later finding her guilty in 2017.
She was fined $410,000 but has failed to pay up, with the amount now growing to more than $500,000 with costs and interests.
Victoria Sheriff’s Officers have now raided her home in the inner Melbourne suburb of Northcote to seize her assets to recoup some of the debt.
A video posted on Facebook by Ethiopian ethnic group Shabo Media in October has now surfaced showing Gibson speaking about Ethiopian politics and issues facing the Oromo people.
She spoke about being embraced by the Melbourne Oromo community after she started volunteering with the group four years ago.
“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 told a man from the community interviewing her.
She speaks of how she became deeply invested because “I saw the character and values of your people”.
“I feel completely adopted by your nation and your people and feel like my heart is as invested as yours and your family’s,” she said.
“I see no difference in your struggle and the struggle that I have fighting for the liberation of Oromo.
“Your struggle is my struggle, when the struggle is shared it’s lifted from you.”
The video of Gibson filmed last year was praised by a number of people thanking her for her support.
The interviewers, however, say they did not know who she was at the time, and neither did the community, a Shabo Media spokesman told AAP.
"She used to come to our meetings regularly and we loved how she showed interest in our people, but the community has pulled out from her after discovering her story," he said.
"It's weird, we interview different people at our events and we thought she was just an Australian girl hanging around. We didn't pick her for the video because she was somebody."
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