Celebrities who Faked Medical Conditions

Joe exótico

Any advertisement is good advertisement, right? The old phrase couldn’t be more wrong, and it seems that some d-listers have missed the memo. Directly: People get mad when you pretend illness to get attention, especially when you take into account all the people who suffer in silence and who don’t have a reality TV show or Instagram account to promote. One would think that most celebrities, or really anyone at the top of their field, would have a public relations agent who would advise them not to pretend to be seriously ill, but still persist.

For some horrible reason, cancer seems to be the most popular choice among suitors, perhaps because it is largely invisible until one really gets sick. There are also fake pregnancies, the only way to get rid of is to fake a miscarriage, but not all celebrities who fake it are hiding something or seeking to profit. Actors need to master the art of playing pretend, and sometimes, that’s just the price of a very, very good movie. From terminal illnesses to cancer and alcoholism, these celebrities have reportedly faked their diagnoses.

The wellness guru who made thousands of fake cancer

Belle Gibson’s cancer story captivated the Internet. The influential Australian was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was just 20 years old and was given four months to live. According to The Guardian , he abandoned radiation and chemotherapy, “cut gluten and dairy,” and opted for alternative treatments such as oxygen therapy and colonics, and they worked miraculously, or so his thousands of followers thought.

In 2013, Gibson used his story to launch the wellness app, The Whole Pantry. She promised to donate a third of the proceeds to charity, got a cookbook contract with Penguin, and Apple pre-installed its iPhone app on Apple Watches as a fake U2 record. Not long after, she claimed that cancer had come back in her “blood, spleen, brain, uterus and liver” and regretted the little time she had with her son. Then the truth came to light.

According to WHO, the app’s proceeds never went to charity, and the blogger’s alleged friends voiced their suspicions strong enough that two Sydney Morning Herald journalists took up the case. Gibson was eventually forced to admit that none of that was true. So what was the aftermath? According to ABC Australia, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) investigated the blogger and filed a civil lawsuit. A judge reportedly ruled that she may have had psychological or psychiatric delusions but was, in fact, guilty of “misleading and deceptive conduct”. BBC reports that Gibson was fined $ 322,000.

Blowing the lid off this best-selling author’s brain tumor

Dan Mallory, better known by his pseudonym AJ Finn, has a life story as intense as his best-selling thriller, The Woman in the Window, probably because he made it up, too. The novelist was forced to clarify after a profile in The New Yorker accused him of a large swath of lies about his career and medical history.

According to the profile, Mallory repeatedly claimed to have brain cancer for many years, including on a college application and to colleagues at editorials both in the United States and across the pond. The article also claimed that he lost his mother, who was actually suffering from cancer, and his brother, but according to the BBC, both are still alive. A former colleague told the magazine, “OMG. I knew you would receive this call. I didn’t know if it was you or the FBI »

Mallory’s lies, as he claimed, stemmed from the fact that his mother battled an “aggressive” form of breast cancer throughout her teenage life. “Throughout those dark times, and like many affected by severe bipolar II disorder, I experienced crushing depressions, delusional thoughts, morbid obsessions, and memory problems,” he said. The New Yorker added: “I did or said or believed things that I would never say, do or believe, things of which, in many cases, I remember absolutely nothing.”

This Bravo star forged documents to ‘prove’ he had cancer

Leave it to The Royal Orange County Housewives to create a fake cancer story so dramatic that it rivals daytime soaps. Granted, we don’t know whether Vicki Gunavlson’s ex-boyfriend Brooks Ayers actually had cancer or not, but we do know that he was caught in a blatant lie about his alleged cancer treatment in 2015.

Ayers basically wrote the script for the following Beverly Hills Royal Housewives plot where bitter souls surrounding Yolanda Hadid accused her of faking their well-documented fight with chronic Lyme disease. According to People , Ayers claimed to be “diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2013,” and while maintaining the fact that this was true, he spent much of the season dodging skepticism from his co-stars. Apparently even Gunavlson doubted him, and she had reason to do so.

In an attempt to prove himself, Ayers apparently showed MY! News documents allegedly from the City of Hope hospital, where he claimed he was a patient. After the publication found a series of inaccuracies in its documentation, the hospital confirmed that People who the star had never been admitted. Ayers finally got clean and admitted that he falsified the documents because he did not want to show his actual medical records. “Words cannot express the deep regret I have in making documents to ‘prove’ to the world that I actually have cancer,” he said. ME! News . “What I did was wrong and inexcusable.”

The fake of Kim Zolciak Biermann

Kim Zolciak Biermann’s cancer scandal shook Atlanta’s true housewives so much that it’s still a problem today. Fans can recall Zolciak Biermann’s epic fight with NeNe Leakes during the Season 1 finale, where he briefly made it look like he was wearing wigs because he had cancer (let’s not forget, he openly admitted wearing them because it’s “easier”). At that time, the star said tearfully that “she got very sick” and “[her] hair was falling out.” “There was a friend of mine who was a doctor,” he sobbed. “He said, ‘Kim, I have to be honest with you. I mean that you are, 90% sure that you have cancer «.

This may have been the truth, but then he showed his true art. When Andy Cohen bluntly asked the star if she had cancer, she avoided the question and sobbed, “I wouldn’t choose to walk with a hairpiece,” claiming that she actually lost her hair due to chemotherapy. She kept the excitement long enough for Leakes to apologize oddly before Cohen asked her again, admitting that she didn’t really have cancer at all, and that her symptoms were otherwise.

In 2018, a decade later, Leakes mentioned the incident in one episode. According to Pop Culture , Leakes called the mom-slash singer a “counterfeiter,” and Zolciak Biermann was forced to remind us that she was not technically a lie, even though it was all totally grim.

What did Joe Exotic not fake?

Joe “Exotic” Maldonado-Passage has apparently become one of the world’s most famous scammers overnight. If we’re looking at Variety’s interpretation of Rotten Tomatoes scores, Tiger King was the most popular television show in the United States the week after it launched in 2024. As the weeks went by, the burrow of mullets, big cats, polygamy and Joe Exotic’s hit killings only got deeper. According to In Touch , the documentary star may have faked her own cancer diagnosis as much as she faked her own music career (allegedly).

In contact he spoke exclusively to journalist Robert Moor, who spent a week following Exotic for an in-depth report. During that time, Exotic allegedly told Moor that he was “dying of bone marrow cancer.” “He said, ‘If my doctor gives me two months to live, I will go to Florida and kill Carole Baskin,'” Moor told the tabloid newspaper. .

In a March 2024 tweet, Moor cleared Exotic also claimed to have prostate cancer. He reportedly told this to “everyone” and raised money from his Facebook fans for his treatment. It turned out to be nothing quite so dramatic. “I found out later that I had an infected prostate, dehydration and a herpes outbreak,” Moor tweeted. At this time, it’s still unclear whether Exotic was his own doctor in the way that his own EMT was, which could explain the wrong (or false) diagnosis.

Leah Messer faked her miscarriage on camera

Teen Mom 2’s Leah Messer certainly did not have an easy situation. It is quite difficult to be a pregnant teenager, much less give birth to twins and discover that one of them suffers from muscular dystrophy. This was undeniably overwhelming, but things got even more difficult during Teen Mom 2 season 4 when the reality star found herself pregnant again. Although we were told that the pregnancy she shared with ex-husband Jeremy Calvert ended in a miscarriage, that was not exactly what happened.

In Messer’s memoirs Esperanza, Gracia y fe (via The Sun ), the star revealed that she had a secret abortion, largely because she was in conflict over her relationship with Corey Simms, her ex-husband and the father of their two children. At the time, Messer had just started dating Calvert and was having second thoughts about his divorce. Simms felt the same, and they discussed trying again, but Messer moved in with Calvert and got engaged. Soon after, he discovered that he was waiting. “I was devastated,” she wrote. Having a baby with Jeremy would be the end of any opportunity Corey and I had to make things work for our family.

In an effort to save his “public image,” Messer’s representative devised a plan to dismiss her abortion as a miscarriage. MTV sent the producers to film the emotional sequels. “It was the worst thing that had happened,” he wrote.

Courtney Stodden ever pregnant?

Courtney Stodden is one of those famous people, why is she famous? Is it because she married an actor in her 50s when she was young enough to be his daughter? Are they your subsequent reality TV commercials? Either way, her relationship with Doug Hutchison made it clear why she generally cannot consent to marriage at such a young age, especially when The Green Mile The actor threw his teenage girlfriend under the bus and claimed that she faked her miscarriage. .

In 2016, Stodden’s manager told People that she had suffered a miscarriage and was taking the time to cry, but Hutchison claimed in her Flushing Hollywood memoirs: fake news, fake boobs that faked the entire pregnancy in an attempt to win. money while they were in a difficult situation, and it was all Stodden’s idea. “I couldn’t get a job to save my life in Hollywood anymore. I was blacklisted, “he said. Fox News . “We had burned all my savings. I was bankrupt … We were so desperate.

Stodden’s divorce only ended in March 2024, and in an Instagram post, the star revealed that she was “scared of even talking about being groomed or verbally abused” during her nearly a decade-long marriage and urged her followers to “stay attentive ». «For his book. All we have to say is that Stodden certainly looked pregnant in the photos.

Maybe you don’t cry coronavirus during a global pandemic?

James Potok, an aspiring artist, is not famous for his work. Rather, he joined the leagues of other advertising-hungry influencers who made news headlines for a horrible prank: a page from Logan Paul’s playbook. According to Business Insider , Potok pretended to have the coronavirus on a WestJet flight from Toronto to Jamaica in an attempt to achieve viral fame. All he really accomplished was to force an entire plane with 243 passengers to turn around two hours.

In an interview with Toronto City News, viral Aspiring star admitted traveling to Jamaica to film a music video and rose to joke half flight, hoping to publish in Instagram. “I looked around, I said ‘can I get everyone’s attention please’ and … I kept saying, word for word, I said ‘I just returned from Hunan province, the capital of the coronavirus … I don’t feel very well. Thank you, ‘”he said.

For the record, Hunan is not even the so-called ‘coronavirus capital’. The virus originated in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province, but if we go strictly by the reported infection numbers, the United States seems to be the favorite. In any case, it’s not fun, and according to CBC , Potok was arrested and charged . He said City News did not believe his actions were illegal, but friend, could you not have licked an airplane toilet without disturbing anyone else?

This YouTuber faked his own death.

Although you probably all at least thought about pulling a Tom Sawyer, most people don’t take very kindly when you are resurrected from death after faking your own tragic death. You need to commit, even if you are very, very bored and wanting to return to social networks. This is apparently what happened to Sketchek, a well-known Team Fortress 2 YouTuber game that mysteriously returned from death three years after passing away from a terminal illness.

According to PC Games , Sketchek was widely considered “one of the best Pyro players” by the first-person shooter. He decided to withdraw from his YouTube channel in 2015 because video games had “ruined” his life, but he wanted to “go out with a bang” rather than take the road of just doing something: anything – otherwise. Instead, he faked a “non-specific terminal illness,” then posted a now-deleted video announcing his illness. Three years later, he came back out of nowhere.

I was never sick, not even a little bit. You could say he was mentally ill because I thought it would be fun to convince many people who care about me that he would die, but I ‘have been feeling really bad about that lately,’ he revealed in a video. «… I really don’t have an excuse. I mean, what can I say? I love the feeling of taking someone for a walk.

Bradley Cooper faked alcoholism on set

Bradley Cooper, who is sadly still not dating Lady Gaga, faked an illness, but it was all for art. The actor went deep when filming his directorial debut A Star Is Born, where he also played the country’s alcoholic legend, Jackson Maine. Most of us remember that gripping scene where Cooper pees live at the Grammy Awards. It was a critical part of the movie, and to get into that headspace, the star couldn’t leave the character, even when she had to jump to the other side of the camera. So what happened? The actor pretended to be drunk while directing, and everyone just accepted it.

In an interview with Vanity Fair , Cooper admitted that he pretended to be drunk during the filming of A Star is Born, adopting a simulated version of severe alcoholism that sent his character into rehab . “Thank God the actors were willing to allow me to direct them in that state because it was easier to stay in that space,” he said. “It took me a little longer to communicate what I wanted.”

The schtick paid off and, hopefully, arrived without a false hangover. The film was nominated for eight Oscars and five Golden Globes, winning one each for the original song “Shallow.”