On the 15th October 2020 Sarah purchased cushion inserts from a small Australian business called Sabi and Soul. After a month of not hearing anything, Sarah contacted the business twice, once via email and once via Instagram DM. Sabi and Soul didn't reply to either message. Believing she had been scammed, Sarah took to her stories to call out the brand, tagging them, and out right accused them of being a fraudulent business. This resulted in fans harassing Sabi and Soul, spamming "Scam" and “Scammer” on their Instagram posts, with others DM’ing Sarah to claim they had also been scammed by the brand.
After Sarah tags the brand on her stories and her followers spam their Instagram Sabi and Soul respond. They replied to some of the comments explaining the situation was just a misunderstanding, that they were in contact with Sarah, and could her followers please stop leaving hate messages. They also called out those who claimed they were also scammed by saying there were no other orders and that they were lying. S&S even asked these people to provide their order numbers to prove their claims but none did.
The misunderstanding was Sarah's. The T&Cs on Sabi and Soul's website stated that due to limited stock orders of cushion inserts only would be cancelled and the money refunded. Sarah had only ordered cushion inserts, therefore her order was cancelled and her money was refunded right away. She failed to notice the refund.
As far as Sabi and Soul were concerned, they had no active orders, so had no reason to check their messages.
Sarah then deletes her defamatory stories and posts a long text story in response to the situation. She explained she had chosen to delete her previous stories but still stood by everything she wrote. However, she’d seen the negativity it had created on Sabi and Soul’s Instagram and it didn’t sit well with her, even if the account wasn’t active anymore (as if that mattered). She had now chosen to take the high road and would practice compassion, even though, according to her, Sabi and Soul still had her money and the issue remained. She ends the post by saying, “don’t leave hate comments no matter what the circumstance”.
Yet her fans didn’t stop. Sabi and Soul continued to reply to the comments, revealing Sarah had now stopped communicating with them since she took down her stories after she was made aware of her error.
And it was her error. Instead of checking the facts she jumped to conclusions and falsely accused this business of scamming her. She then shared fake stories of others claiming they were also scammed and weaponised her stans to harass the business. When she was proven to be at fault, she Deleted everything, blocked people who defended S&S, and carried on like nothing had happened. Meanwhile, Sabi and Soul were still dealing with a torrent of hate messages and ended up closing down their business. Two years later their bio still says "taking a break" and their website no longer exists. There are still comments on their posts saying "Scam".
Sarah never apologised.
The following is a breakdown of everything that happened as it happened, including screenshots of Sarah’s stories and people’s comments.
“Over a month ago”. It had been just 32 days from the date of the order and Sarah was posting those stories. While technically true, it was over a month, she was being unnecessarily dramatic.
In the next story she showed a screenshot of the email she had sent to Sabi and Soul on the 6th November to chase up her order. In the email she wrote, “Hey there, Just chasing up the status of this order as it’s been almost a month. Kind regards, Sarah Stevenson.” The text on the story said, “After a month of the money being gone and no secondary email or update on my order I emailed to sus out… what was up?”
Sarah is heavily exaggerating the timeline to work in her favour. In the email she says “it’s been almost a month” since she placed her order, which was true, but the text on screen says the money had been gone a month. In reality, it had been 22 days, though, at this point, she had already been refunded so the money wasn’t still missing. If she had checked she would’ve known this. But by saying “after a month of the money being gone” she is implying she had checked that the money was still missing. It wasn’t. She hadn’t checked but is wording things to suggest otherwise.
The next slide showed a screenshot of her DM on Instagram. She DM’d Sabi and Soul on the same day, 6th November, saying, “Hey babe!! I made an order #1080 at the start of the last month and wanted to know the status of the order??” She sends a screenshot of her order confirmation email. The next day she sends another message simply saying, “Hello?”
Again, her sense of time is warped. The order was not placed “at the start of the last month”. It was placed on the 15th.
At this stage she could be forgiven for thinking she had been scammed. She had placed an order, the money was taken and she didn’t hear anything since. She reached out to the brand but didn’t get a response. Most people would also think they had been scammed.
In the next two slides she wrote a wordy post explaining it’s not even about the money she believed she’d lost because she’s blessed to be financially comfortable, but what infuriated her was the thought of other customers who aren’t as well off as her purposely saving up to buy from this company, only to be scammed. She goes on to say she remembers working in fast food earning $12 AUD an hour, and that if this had happened to her back then she would have been devastated that a 10 hour shift had gone down the drain.
Finally she writes that she’s “genuinely not doing this to hate on that brand”. She’s just sharing her frustrations at their negligence and lack of customer care. She continues by saying she can’t imagine ever doing this to her Ebook, activewear, Body Bloom, Fit Protein, Pitty Party or Butter Me Up customers, and that she puts in so much effort, time and care into customer service that she can’t understand when a brand goes MIA but still continues to take people’s money. “That’s just fraud my friend.”
In a podcast episode by Outspoken the Podcast covering this drama one of the hosts said “I love the humble brag about having to list every single business she owns, especially when two of them are her skincare range.” The other host jumps in to defend Sarah by saying “I don’t think it’s a humble brag, I think she’s trying to reiterate the fact she actually had experience in running a number of businesses and that’s why she’s being so critical of this business’s protocols.”
The thing is, Sarah doesn’t have experience. The only business in the list that is hers is her ebooks. Yet she doesn’t personally deal with the customer service aspect of it as this is done by the company who created them, Hello Hello Studio, who also created and runs her website on her behalf. As for the other products she listed, her activewear is owned by White Fox, Body Bloom and Fit Protein are owned by Tropeaka, and Pitty Party and Butter Me Up are owned by La’Bang. She has zero responsibility outside of advertising these products, which is why, when orders go wrong, she is quick to tell customers to contact the customer service team of said company, not her. So this part of the story was unnecessary and, yes, a humble brag of her collaborated products, and added no support to her argument.
There’s a lot to be suspicious about with these DM’s. They may well be genuine accounts, but the wording all three use is very similar. Also, are we expected to believe a thirteen year old not only had a job but was also able to make a purchase on that website without a debit or credit card. You need to be over 18 years old to open a Paypal account.
Sarah may well have shared them in good faith thinking they were real, but they could just as easily be fake stories by fans who wanted Sarah’s attention, especially when they see she’s replying to them.
After all of these stories Sarah’s followers very quickly rallied to defend her and began commenting on Sabi and Soul’s Instagram posts. Some even went so far as to comment “Scam” or “Scammers” on every single post Sabi and Soul had. The comments section became a battleground between stans accusing S&S of scamming and Sarah’s haters calling them and Sarah out for it. Most of these comments have since been Deleted, but several still remain two years later. [pic 1, pic 2, pic 3, pic 4, pic 5]
Hours later Sarah deletes her defamatory stories and posts a long text story in response to the situation. She explained that even though she had chosen to delete her previous stories she still stood by everything she wrote. However, she’d seen the negativity it had created on Sabi and Soul’s Instagram and it didn’t sit well with her, even if the account wasn’t active anymore (as if that mattered). She was now going to practice compassion, even though, according to her, Sabi and Soul still had her money and the issue remained. She ends the post by saying, “don’t leave hate comments no matter what the circumstance”.
The next day Sarah is back on her stories acting as if nothing had happened, meanwhile the owner of Sabi and Soul is still dealing with hate comments from her stans. The owner reveals Sarah had now stopped communicating with them since she took down her stories. They also said Sarah had been refunded. Sarah was made aware of her mistake and told that her money had been refunded, yet she still claimed it was missing on that story in order to fan the flames.
On the 23rd November, Outspoken the Podcast did an episode on the drama. This episode is called “Sarah’s Day’s Moroccan Pillows, Shamelessly Undone & The Lie”.
The hosts contacted the owner of Sabi and Soul to get her side of the story. They reveal the owner said she was taking legal action against Sarah so wouldn’t be able to say too much but she did share with them a screenshot showing she had refunded Sarah’s order on the 15th October, the same day the order was placed. This screenshot has not been publicly shared but I trust the Outspoken women, who often defend Sarah on their podcast, to be telling the truth about what they saw.
One of the hosts said it was “immature and reckless of Sarah to call this brand out.” They go on to say they found out from the owner that Sarah had paid through Paypal and that anyone who uses Paypal will know there is a process you can go through to get your money back. “Why did she not seek that process and instead chose to publicly slam this small business and her actions could completely destroy this business.”
It’s clear Sarah thought she was scammed. She had ordered a product, got the confirmation email and then heard nothing. She reached out to the company twice and never got a reply. So her thinking she had been scammed was justified.
The company could have done better here. They could have made it clear on the product page that orders of inserts only would be automatically cancelled and refunded, instead of relying on customers reading the T&Cs (they added it after this blew up). They also should have sent out an email saying the order had been cancelled (they probably did but Sarah didn’t say so we don’t know if this happened or not), and they also should have replied to Sarah’s messages. However, as far as the owner was concerned, she had no active orders so had no reason to check her business messages.
What happened next is on Sarah. She made the mistake of not reading the T&Cs on the website [crop of T&CS] and failed to notice her order had been refunded the same day she placed it. That’s her fault. She should have checked before putting the company on blast to her then 1.1m followers and publicly accuse them of scamming her.
Worse than that, though, is when she was proven to be in the wrong, she didn’t apologise. Yes, she took down her defamatory stories, but the damage had already been done; her stans were hellbent on harassing the company in her defence, despite Sarah telling them to not leave hate messages. All she had to do was hold her hands up and say she had made a mistake, that she hadn’t been scammed after all and she was sorry she accused Sabi and Soul of being a fraudulent business. Her stans probably would have stopped their harassment and left the brand alone. But she didn’t do this. She just deleted all of her stories and moved on, pretending the situation never happened.
More than two years later Sabi and Soul’s Instagram account still says they are taking a break. Their website no longer exists. They haven’t posted anything since this drama happened and there are still “scam” comments on their posts, though most have been deleted. It doesn’t appear they ever followed through on legal action, or, if they did, nothing came of it.
Sarah’s actions caused this business to shut down. And she never apologised.
PCOS Diagnosis Deep Dive
For years Sarah has claimed she lost her period and may struggle to conceive naturally due to having PCOS. The things she would say about her PCOS and the way she was diagnosed changed over time which caused people to question the legitimacy of her condition. Then in January 2020 she revealed she had PCOS, suggesting she no longer has it. PCOS is an incurable condition. While symptoms and the severity of those symptoms vary between women, and can often be successfully managed, the condition never goes away. There's no cure, only management. So Sarah suggesting otherwise raised another red flag.
In September 2021 Sarah announced she's pregnant with her second child. The accompanying vlog revealed she conceived this baby on her first try and it had her fans questioning her PCOS diagnosis once again. Sarah was vocal in defending her situation. However, her replies to these comments about who diagnosed her and how she was diagnosed contradict what she has said previously in earlier vlogs. So I thought I'd take her advice and watch back those old vlogs where she goes into detail about her PCOS journey.
So let's go down the rabbit hole, shall we?
Timeline of events:
2008 - Got period in Year 10. Went on the Pill. “Ballooned” from 46kg to 57kg.
2012 - Started her Instagram account. Got into health and fitness. Came off the Pill. Hormonal acne started.
2014 - Went back on the Pill. Skin cleared back up.
2015 - Stopped taking the Pill after realising it isn’t holistic and that her body is trying to tell her it’s not healthy. When off the Pill she gets hormonal acne, hair thinning, “toxic body”, i.e: cellulite, weight gain, can’t lose weight. Realises her hormones are out of whack and that it might affect her having children later in life if she doesn’t fix it now. Finds her current naturopath.
Her PCOS journey starts with developing hormonal acne after coming off the Pill. She spends the next several years trying to balance her hormones and made numerous vlogs about how she cures it after every time it flares up.
The following information is taken from her YouTube vlogs. I've included the date published and the vlog title so you can watch these vlogs yourself if you wish.
July 2015 - "Hormonal Acne + The Pill: Curing My Hormonal Acne Naturally”
In this vlog she talks about her acne journey, coming off the pill, gaining weight, her depression surrounding it all, realising that she has a hormonal imbalance and finding her naturopath, Hayden Keys (who's now employed with Sunee).
“I liked that, you know, I would tell him my symptoms and how I was feeling and he agreed with everything I thought. He was like “Yep, it’s definitely your hormones, your hormones totally sound out of whack”. But what I liked even more is that he actually ran tests. He made me do a saliva test, he did, like, a body composition test, instead of just saying “Oh, it’s your liver that’s wrong”, you know, he wanted to find out for sure what was going on.”
Sarah’s naturopath performed two hormone saliva tests. One measured her adrenals, cortisol levels and DHEA. The other one checked her testosterone levels. The results revealed that her cortisol levels at midday were high, while the rest of the day they were within range and normal. Yet she says her androgen and cortisol levels are too high, that her body is producing too much cortisol and too much of the stress hormone. Her testosterone levels came back extremely high. The average is between 25 - 190. Sarah's was 306. She says that it's the highest reading her naturopath has ever seen.
The next test she’s going to have is a urine test to check her progesterone and estrogen levels. She also said her naturopath thinks she has insulin resistance caused by imbalanced hormones and that’s why she can’t lose weight and is too heavy (!) despite a good diet. She starts taking supplements for it.
October 2015 - "Diet Plan: Fat Loss + Curing Hormonal Acne | Full Day Of Eating"
In this vlog she explains that her naturopath has put her on a 21 day diet plan to cure her hormonal acne and drop some body fat. The diet plan is keto. Her naturopath still thinks she has insulin resistance problems and is treating her as if she does but as yet there is no confirmation. Sarah is excited while explaining that keto should help balance her hormones and that, if it works, will get her shredded. However, in the next vlog "Diet Update | Fat Loss | Starting From Scratch" in November, she admits to only lasting 10 days on the diet and has now switched to carb-cycling. Yet in those 10 days she claims her skin cleared up and her hormones were balanced.
December 2015 - “Hormonal Acne Update | PCOS | How I Cured My Acne”
This is the first vlog where she talks about having PCOS. She said that in the previous vlog she had received a lot of comments from people saying they think she might have PCOS due to her symptoms. She lists her symptoms as “weight gain, insulin resistance problems, my hair falling out and obviously acne”. Note that insulin resistance is only an assumption by her naturopath, not a diagnosis, yet Sarah believes she has it. She had to wait to get to a specific spot in her cycle to do a saliva test and “Bombshell! I have PCOS”.
Within 1:02 minutes of the video she says she has been diagnosed with PCOS after a saliva test by her naturopath.
She goes on to say she suspected she had PCOS all along and went to a mainstream doctor who apparently laughed at her because she wasn’t obese or hairy enough. However her naturopath read people’s comments in the previous vlog, agreed with them, performed the saliva test and told Sarah she had PCOS.
Next she says she had a progesterone test. The results came back very low. Her naturopath said it’s the lowest he’s ever seen. Due to that she’s now carb-cycling and taking a cocktail of supplements.
So, to recap:
She's first diagnosed with PCOS in November 2015.
She was diagnosed by her naturopath.
She was diagnosed with a saliva test.
She was tested for:
Cortisol: slightly high
Testosterone: extremely high
Progesterone: very low
Estrogen: ? (never revealed the results)
January 2016 - “Carb Cycling | How To + What Is It?”
In this vlog she says she has “a bad insulin resistance problem” and that when she eats carbs everyday she breaks out and stores fat. This is all due to her naturopath’s assumptions, she’s still not been tested for insulin resistance.
September 2016 - “My Health & Fitness Journey | Weight Loss Story”
Sarah goes into detail about her health and fitness journey. At one stage she is talking about potentially developing an eating disorder and trying every diet going. She tried being raw vegan for a time and this is when she noticed her hair started falling out, her skin broke out, she kept getting sick and had no energy. There is no mention of having a hormone imbalance here, she is blaming these things on her diet at the time. The vlog also doesn’t mention anything of her hormonal acne journey or being diagnosed with PCOS. She’s now switched to a paleo diet and is the smallest, leanest and strongest she’s ever been.
February 2017 - “Having my PERIOD!! My Foam Rolling & Stretching Routine”
In this vlog she talks about her period. She briefly recaps that two years ago she came off the Pill and didn’t get her period for four months. With the help of her naturopath and the supplements he gave her she managed to balance her hormones and get her period back. She explains he had her track her period throughout her cycle and goes on to show us the app she uses.
December 2017 - "Amenorrhea, PCOS & Getting My Period Back | Ultra Sounds, Blood Tests & Acupuncture"
In this vlog she talks briefly about her hormone imbalance journey and how she lost her period due to “over stressing” her body while working on her first ebook. This isn’t the same loss of period as before. That was because it was slow starting back after coming off the PIll. This time is because she under ate and worked out too hard in the making of her first ebook. She believed that once she started eating more and training less her period would return, but after 8 months it still hadn’t returned. She goes on to say that mainstream doctors, her naturopath and her acupuncturist are confused as to why it's stopped because a saliva test showed her hormones are now balanced (it was unclear if she was referring to the previous saliva test where they weren’t balanced, or if she has since had a new test done and everything was fine this time). So now she’s going down the road of using both mainstream doctors and holistic methods to try and get her period back because she wants children in the next two years.
She had an ultrasound (external and internal) as well as a fasted blood test to check her thyroid, her pituitary gland, insulin and more. She films the ultrasound and we hear the technician say she has a “polycystic looking ovary”. She gets the results back from the doctor. Her ovaries “are indicative of PCOS”. She has too many follicles on both ovaries. On her right ovary she has 25 small follicles, and on her left she has 20. They are slightly larger than they should be. Everything else came back normal, she just has excess follicles.
She got disheartened with her blood test results. Her doctor was confused. Her ovaries indicate PCOS but her blood results don’t reflect that. Overall her blood work was good, she’s “super healthy” and her diet is “obviously working” for her. The doctor told her she’s not over training, her body fat percentage is good, and said she was “super chill”.
Her testosterone and estrogen levels are now good. Her cortisol levels are now “perfect”. Glucose is good. Prolactin is good. FSH is higher than her LH. Androgens: testosterone levels great, free androgen index great, SHBG is “super duper high”, normal range is 30 - 110, hers is 199. Doctor said normally with PCOS it would be lower not higher. Doctor thinks she just not ovulating. She’s going to take these results to her acupuncturist, her naturopath and a gynecologist working at an IVF clinic who specialises in PCOS.
She ends the vlogs with an update: Tues 19th Dec - “I received a call from my Doctor. What she told me has shaken my entire life. I needed time to understand and accept the news before opening up…Thank you for caring. I will share more in my next vlog xx.”
December 2017 - “I can’t believe this is happening to me… Telling you everything | VLOG”
This is her CIN 3 story. She had a routine pap smear which showed her cervix had abnormal cells. Goes on to talk about needing a good immune system to fight off the HPV virus that causes the abnormal cells and blames getting a parasite in Bali on her bad immune system (in a later vlog she blames having to take antibiotics for a staph infection for ruining her immune system). Announces her mission to try and cure it before her next gynae appointment.
January 2018 - “How I got my PERIOD BACK | Amenorrhea, PCOS Tips + Advice!”
In this vlog she talks about having amenorrhea for the last ten months. She says for years her doctors and naturopath thought she had PCOS. However tests she got throughout 2017 showed that while her ovaries were indicative of PCOS, her hormones were completely balanced. Everyone was stumped as to why her period stopped. Yet she goes on to say she started losing her period after making her ebook. She was super stressed, she wanted to look a certain way to promote her ebook and she wasn’t eating enough for the amount of training she was doing. She attributes getting her period back by upping her calorie intake and adding in more carbs. She’s also taking at least nine different supplements a day.
July 2018 - “How I Healed Myself Naturally: Cervical Dysplasia CIN 3 (High Grade)”
Here she explains how she cured her CIN 3. Basically, this vlog is just a not-so-humble brag about how she cured her CIN 3 in three months and knew better than the doctor who was recommending surgery for her.
Fast forward three years:
September 2021 - “Finding Out… I’M PREGNANT! *Raw Footage & Reaction*”
After announcing her second Pregnancy and revealing she fell pregnant on the first try, a lot of fans began questioning her PCOS diagnosis and fertility issues. Sarah came out with all guns blazing trying to defend herself. In doing so she said things that contradicted a lot of what she’s said in past vlogs.
Here are her replies on this vlog:
Her PCOS journey did not start in 2017 with a Pap smear. She was first diagnosed with PCOS in 2015 by her naturopath. However, in 2017 she did see a mainstream doctor and had an ultrasound and blood tests but this was because of her amenorrhea not PCOS. She did have a routine pap smear in 2017, and this revealed abnormal cells leading to a CIN 3 diagnosis. She has obviously confused her CIN 3 diagnosis with her PCOS one.
Again, her PCOS diagnosis was in 2015 by her naturopath. She got the results of the ultrasound and blood tests in late 2017 which gave mixed results. Her hormones were balanced by then and weren’t indicative of PCOS. Her vlogs about curing her hormone imbalance were earlier.
Again, she’s confused about the timeline. By the time she saw her GP and a gynecologist in 2017 it was because she had lost her period. Her hormones were fine at this stage, which is why doctors couldn’t explain her amenorrhea. Her ovaries did indicate PCOS but everything else was normal.
She contradicts herself a little here. In the top post she says the doctor confirmed her diagnosis of PCOS (baring in mind the only diagnosis so far was from her naturopath), but in the second post she says he diagnosed her with unexplainable hormonal imbalace (despite saying she had balanced them by now) and put it down to PCOS.
She said in an earlier vlog she had an appointment to see a gynecologist who worked in an IVF clinic who specializes in PCOS, so in this she's telling the truth. Although according to his bio he doesn’t specialise in PCOS, but spent 8 years as a consultant in IVF, fertility, menopause, obstetrics, and gynecology in a Sydney hospital before moving back to the UK. If he did officially diagnose her with PCOS, she didn’t vlog about it.
Here she contradicts herself again. First she says her blood work DID indicate she had PCOS but in another comment she says it DIDN’T. According to her vlogs her blood work didn’t indicate PCOS because all of her hormone levels that were previously unbalanced were all normal now. It was only the fact she had excess follicles on her ovaries and unexplained amenorrhea that lead doctors to assume PCOS. However she has since explained that her amenorrhea was a separate issue and was caused by under eating, over training and being super stressed. This resolved itself once she started eating more and training less. It had nothing to do with PCOS.
Constantly saying that doctors told you you would struggle to conceive naturally and that you might need IVF is implying you have fertility issues, otherwise you wouldn’t have a struggle.
Just before she announced her second pregnancy and made the comments on the vlog above, she posted a Reel on Instagram with this caption:
Again she is saying she was told she might not conceive naturally. I’ll say it again, if you can’t conceive naturally you have fertility issues. Sure, she might not have explicitly said “I am infertile”, but she has always implied it.
This caption is also paving the way for the narrative change. As with the last vlog comment above, she is now backtracking on her PCOS diagnosis. She’s now saying the doctors were wrong and were too quick to brand her with fertility issues. Something she discovered when she conceived Fox. Yet she continued to claim she had PCOS after having Fox, and whenever she talked about wanting to try for baby #2 once she was married, she made sure to acknowledge her potential struggles.
In all of her vlog comments there is no mention of her naturopath. He was the one who diagnosed her with PCOS yet she is saying mainstream doctors are the ones who misdiagnosed her and were too quick to label her with fertility issues. Was he too quick to brand her with fertility issues? He was certainly quick to tell her she had insulin resistance and prescribed her supplements for it without tests. I wonder if she would have thrown him under the bus as well if he wasn’t a Sunee employee.
In summary, Sarah does not have PCOS. She also does not have fertility issues. Yes, she could have done had she not gotten her period back, but she did and the tests she had revealed everything was ok. It’s clear that Sarah believed she had PCOS at one stage, all because her naturopath told her what she wanted to hear. However, once she realised she likely didn’t, especially after having Fox, she still held onto the narrative and chose not to correct it. Now, in typical Sarah fashion, she is gaslighting her followers and blaming others. But the information is all there. She vlogged it all. She may not remember it correctly, but it’s all there for us all to see.
Bushfire Donation Scandal
Australia suffered devastating bushfires during their 2019-20 bushfire season. In November 2019 Sarah tried to raise money in collaboration with La Bang Body, where they planned to donate $1 from all sales of Sarah’s products with them. This received a lot of backlash from people who felt $1 was not enough. The drive was stopped and Sarah tried to distance herself from the scandal by saying it was La Bang’s idea and she just went along with it. Neither party disclosed if the money raised before the campaign was stopped was donated. This scandal will be its own Deep Dive.
Sarah did a three day ebook sale where she would donate 100% of the sales made during this time. The sale ran between 5 - 7 January 2020. A staggering total of $391,660 AUD was raised which was to be split equally between four charities.
Sarah then went quiet. She was very active on her socials but said nothing further about the donations.
Six days later she explains in a vlog that she had emailed each charity to tell them they would be receiving a huge donation and asked how to go about transferring the money. People were now beginning to ask questions. Why hadn’t she donated their money yet? Why was she only now contacting them? And why was she blocking people for asking about it? This prompted people to start reporting her to Scam Watch and Australian news sites who had covered the $1 bushfire donation scandal.
Three days later Sarah was on her stories outside the bank in her car crying because she couldn’t transfer the money. It was everyone’s fault but hers. She had transferred the money to two charities but couldn’t do more due to transfer limits on her account and would need to go back the next day. However she claimed she couldn’t do this because she was leaving for Byron (despite that trip being a week away). The next day was business as usual on her stories; going to the gym, filming content, life was good. She didn’t say anything about the donations or what happened the day before. She also didn't leave for Byron. We later find out she did indeed transfer the money that day and to the final charity two days after that, but chose not to update her followers until she received thank you letters from each charity, which wouldn’t be for another six days.
It took her 9 days to make the first donation.
It took 15 days to show proof she donated the money despite having bank receipts.
She made a conscious decision to withhold proof, to cause drama and play the victim for engagement.
On January 3rd, two days before announcing the ebook sale, Sarah said she and Kurt were up all night racking their brains for ideas on how “you guys” could get involved with the bushfire crisis. She wanted to come up with several creative initiatives for her followers and told them to "stay tuned". She shared a donation link for the Bushfire Appeal urging people to donate if they were able. She also shared a zoomed out picture of a fire map in her area and reassured followers her family and she were safe. People on another gossip forum criticised this because if she had zoomed in it would have revealed her area was nowhere near current outbreaks and was completely safe, yet the zoomed out image implied she was in danger. She posted further insensitive stories about Fox mourning the death of a pot plant, how great the house renovations were coming along, and that it was too hot to go to the beach when people and animals were losing their homes and lives to the fires. She also advertised a sale on Body Bloom while Kurt plugged his presets, all after telling their followers to stay tuned to their posts, guaranteeing maximum engagement.
Members on the other gossip forum posted numerous suggestions on what Sarah and Kurt could do to 'do their bit' for the crisis. One poster wrote, “Kudos to influences like Mitch Orval who are raising and donating money and using their platform to help raise money. Sarah could take a leaf out of his book and donate 100% of profits from her eBooks to the fires or something like that...” Considering she reads these forums, it quite possibly gave her the idea. Someone else claimed they had DM’d Kurt on Instagram to ask if they were personally donating money and he allegedly responded saying “they don’t need to publish” whether they have or not. [no screenshot/proof]
The next day she began to hype up the “big reveal” on what her fundraising initiatives were and said she had several ideas to share. She didn't reveal what they were until the next day. Meanwhile she still advertised Body Bloom.
On day two of the sale she posted that $200,000 had been raised so far. She also posted a video she was in that was made in collaboration with other Australian influencers urging people to donate. She shared a Go Fund Me link which both her and Kurt put in their bios.
At the end of the three day sale Sarah announced that a total of $391,660 AUD was raised [pic 1, pic 2]. Due to the amount raised she added a fourth charity to the list, The Salvation Army Australia. This was a huge achievement and people were overjoyed knowing this money would be going to those who needed it.
However, 7 days later Sarah still hadn’t said she had donated the money or posted any receipts. Apart from sharing a few stories, she’d hardly mentioned the donations at all.
A week later, on the January 13th, Sarah uploaded a new YouTube vlog called “we need to talk...answering your questions & VEGAN ICE CREAM CAKE VLOG!” At the beginning of this vlog she talks about the bushfires and the ebook fundraiser. She said both her and Kurt made personal donations but wanted to do more and came up with the ebook idea. She said “I gave 100% of the proceeds to four charities that I selected.” and lists them on screen. It’s important to note that she stated she gave the money to the charities, implying she had already donated the money.
At this stage a week had passed since the fundraiser ended. All the transactions should have cleared by now and there should have been no reason why Sarah hadn't yet donated the money. In light of this a member on the other gossip forum wrote an open letter to Sarah saying they had reported her to Scam Watch for failing to donate the money raised. They wrote that they believed Sarah intended to donate the money and simply wanted to encourage her to do so to stop people worrying where their money had gone.
By now people were starting to ask questions. From the limited amount of info Sarah had provided and the screenshots of the sales showed the numbers didn’t add up.
The total amount raised was $391,660 which was to be split equally between four charities. This meant each charity should receive $97,915 each.
7205 x $55.99 comes to $403,407
Where did $11,747 go?
This led to people thinking Sarah had inflated the total amount which is why she wasn’t showing receipts she had donated. After a week of nothing aside from the few minutes in the vlog, people are starting to comment on her socials asking if she had donated their money yet. Many of these comments were being deleted.
On Wednesday, January 15th, she posted a series of stories about not being able to donate to the Koala hospital because her bank wouldn’t allow her to make a transaction that big [no screenshot of these stories]. She then thanks her followers for suggesting she rings them, which she said she would the next day, to ask if they have been receiving her emails. Not only does this make you wonder why she didn't think of this herself, it also contradicts what she said in the vlog about emailing the four charities and them all replying to her.
On Thursday the next day she’s on her stories crying in her car outside the bank. She did a bank transfer at home to the Food Bank charity but was unable to do a second transfer so she went down to the bank. She got there shortly before closing. She was able to transfer money to another charity, RFS, but couldn’t do a third transfer because it was “4:03” and the bank refused to continue as they were now closed. She accused the bank clerk of being mean to her and couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t stay open for her. "I'm just trying to do this nice thing and donate all this money for my country and the animals". She said she was so stressed by the situation she couldn't even go for a walk.
She said she’d been trying to pay everyone for over a week but none of the charities were accepting the bank transfer because her daily transfer limit on her account was $100k. Each charity was getting just under $90k each so the fact she had a $100k limit shouldn’t have been a problem. She should have been able to transfer the money to one charity each day and be done in four days. This limit was likely for online transfers only as she’d been able to make two transfers already that day and only stopped because the bank closed. If she had gone to the bank earlier in the day, she probably could have transferred the money to all four charities in one visit. Yet she deliberately put off going to the bank in person because her bank was apparently unprofessional and always asked her too many questions. For her to think she could transfer such large sums of money and not be asked questions is ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous to delay donating the money because of it.
She goes on to say she leaves for Byron Bay for a photoshoot tomorrow so can’t do the other two transfers, ignoring the fact she could still do a transfer online like she did today. She also doesn’t show the receipt from the transfer she’d just made.
In relation to her car stories someone left a scathing comment on one of her Instagram posts claiming they were at the bank the same time as Sarah. They were disgusted by Sarah’s behaviour towards the bank staff. If true, it’s possible they kicked her out of the bank which was why she was so upset in the car. Someone else posted this comment calling her out.
On Friday the next day she was back on her stories as if the day before hadn’t happened [pic 1, pic 2]She went to the gym, filmed an ab workout and didn’t say anything about the donations. Yesterday she claimed she was too stressed to even go for a walk but managed to apply a fresh tan over night and go to the gym as usual the next day. She also said she was leaving for Byron today which is why she couldn't donate the rest of the money but this was going to happen next weekend. So there was no reason why she couldn't go back to the bank to make the other two donations. Yet she said nothing about it on her stories.
According to the letters she transferred the money:
Food Bank - 16 Jan
RFS - 16 Jan
Koala Hospital - 19 Jan (date on the letter)
Salvation Army - 22 Jan (date on the letter)
It took her 9 days to make the first donation, and only after people started to report her.
It took 15 days to show proof.
She deliberately waited for the thank you letters before showing proof she had donated the money. She could have shown bank receipts on the day she broke down in the car complaining that everyone was demanding proof. She had proof, but chose not to show it. She created unnecessary drama and deliberately victimized herself for engagement.