celebrity news

Dame Deborah James counterfeit ‘rebellious hope’ charity T-shirts removed from Amazon as company apologises

Counterfeit versions of Dame Deborah’s popular charity T-shirts were being sold on Amazon (Picture: Amazon/Instagram/bowelbabe)

Fake T-shirts branded with Dame Deborah James’ trademark ‘rebellious hope’ phrase were available to buy on Amazon on Wednesday, hours after the inspirational fundraiser’s death aged 40.

After being diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in December 2016, the podcast presenter, campaigner and blogger began raising awareness of the disease, raising over £7million for Cancer Research UK.

Known as ‘Bowel Babe’ online, Dame Deborah also launched a charity T-shirt in May in partnership with clothing company In The Style, branded with the slogan ‘rebellious hope’, following her announcement that she was receiving hospice care at her family home in Surrey.

The official T-shirts retail from £15 to £18, with 100% of the proceeds – a minimum of £7.08 per top bought – going to her Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK.

However, hours after Dame Deborah’s death was announced by her family on Tuesday night in a statement shared on Instagram, multiple counterfeit versions of her charity T-shirt were available to purchase on Amazon, with delivery supported by its Prime service.

Multiple listings – well over 20 – showed plain T-shirts in a variety of colours, emblazoned with the words ‘rebellious hope’.

The podcast host had released her ‘rebellious hope’ T-shirts as part of a clothing line with In The Style, where all proceeds went to her Bowelbabe Fund (Picture: Amazon/Instagram/bowelbabe)
Sellers had replicated the design and colours available (Picture: Amazon)

The majority favoured round necks and a simple font, just like the real T-shirt, with some even listing ‘Bowelbabe’, ‘In The Style’ and ‘charity’ in their name descriptions.

There were even some in navy, listed as ‘for men’, after Dame Deborah had recently added unisex, looser fits to the range at the request of her husband, Sebastien Bowen, who asked for ‘a navy and white version for the blokes’.

Some listings even made sure to mention ‘Bowelbabe’ and ‘In The Style’ to seem genuine (Picture: Amazon)
The T-shirts were launched back in May and are still available on In The Style’s website (Picture: Amazon/Instagram/bowelbabe)

These fakes were retailing for in the region of £12.50 to £16.99, as sellers attempted to cash in on the legacy of Dame Deborah’s fundraising efforts.

The official ‘rebellious hope’ charity T-shirts, which donate all profits to the Bowelbabe Fund, can only be purchased directly through the In The Style website.

Shortly after Metro.co.uk contacted Amazon regarding the issue, the T-shirts were removed from its website and the company apologised.

An Amazon spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘Like many, we were saddened to hear of Dame Deborah James’ passing.

‘We’re in the process of removing all products that make any suggestion of a link with Dame Deborah James or the related charities and apologise for any distress caused.’

Donate to Dame Deborah James’ Bowelbabe fund

You, Me & The Big C podcast host Dame Deborah James has admirably raised money towards cancer charities after announcing that her own bowel cancer was now terminal.

She is now receiving end-of-life hospice care at home due to her cancer treatment being stopped last month.

With the support of Cancer Research UK (CRUK), Dame Deborah and her family established the Bowelbabe Fund, with all money raised to be allocated to funding clinical trials and research into personalised medicine that could result in new treatments for cancer patients, including projects in collaboration with partners such as The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden. Donations will also go towards continued support to raise awareness of cancer, such as Bowel Cancer UK’s Never Too Young campaign.

At the start of June, the fund had so far raised £6.6million to go towards clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

You can donate via the Just Giving link here.

Shortly before her death, Dame Deborah celebrated raising £1million through the sales of her T-shirt (Picture: Amazon/Instagram/bowelbabe)
Andy Murray’s wife Kim wore the T-shirt at Wimbledon on Tuesday to support Deborah, shortly before her death was announced (Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

The T-shirts have been a big hit with the British public, and a month after its launch, Dame Deborah celebrated raising £1million through the sales of her T-shirt alone, smashing her initial fundraising goal of £50,000.

Figures from Sophie, Countess of Wessex to Gaby Roslin and Andy Murray’s wife Kim have been pictured in the top, lending their support to the cause.

Following the news of Dame Deborah’s death, tributes poured in, including from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who praised her as ‘an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on’.

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

MORE : Dominic Raab pays tribute to ‘inspirational’ Dame Deborah James during PMQs

MORE : Gloria Hunniford shares admiration for Dame Deborah James’ ‘energy and attitude’ as she reflects on own daughter’s death from cancer


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.