The half-sister of actress Julia Roberts, Nancy Motes, was found dead last Sunday after what is believed to have been a prescription drugs overdose. Motes, who was 37 when she died, was found dead in a bathtub in the LA residence she shared with her fiancé, John Dilbeck. Though it has not yet been determined whether Motes’ death was accidental or a suicide, indications of a suicide note – reported to be eight pages long – was found at the apartment.
Nancy and Julia shared the same mother but not their father. Since Nancy’s death, Dilbeck has felt compelled to deny speculation that his fiancée was a drug addict after reports that Julia has tried to save her half-sister dozens of times by encouraging her to seek help in rehab. However, a neighbour and apparent close friend of Nancy’s has claimed that the TV worker’s death wasn’t the result of recklessness: It was “not a Philip Seymour Hoffman thing’ but a planned suicide,” they said.
A more sinister rumour has also arisen, alleging that Motes deliberately chose her time of death to sabotage Julia’s chances at the upcoming Academy Awards in March. Roberts is up for Best Supporting Actress for her role alongside Meryl Streep in August: Osage County.
John’s brother, Conner Dilbeck, claimed to The Daily Mail that Nancy intended for her drug overdose to disrupt Roberts’ promotional work and public image in the run up to the Oscars. Dilbeck alleges that Nancy’s suicide note contains “dark secrets” about Roberts that she wanted to be made public now to scupper any hopes of an Oscar win. The shock of Nancy’s death meant Roberts could not attend the Oscar nominees’ lunch on Sunday.
“We are talking about people who are powerful,” Conner said. “People who have very delicate power, people who are in the limelight. Their power can be destroyed very easily if unfortunate things make them look more wicked. They have to be careful, it can destroy their career or their Academy Award,” he added. Conner also claimed that Roberts inflicted “pure cruelty” on the Glee production worker and therefore is “terrified” about the note leaking.
“I am posting this as a plea to everyone to Pray for my Brother John,” wrote Conner on Facebook. “His lovely Fiancé, Nancy Motes, was driven to Take her Life yesterday because of the Pure Cruelty of her Sister, Julia Roberts (yes Ms. Pretty Woman herself), that has done everything in her power to Ruin her and my brother’s lives. He is overwhelmed by this horrible event and all the Turmoil Julia has subjected them too,” claimed Conner.
A source close to Julia argues that the actress only wanted the best for her half sister and was trying to save her from substance abuse: “Julia tried in vain over the years, even in the last six months, to get Nancy to go to rehab,” they said, via RadarOnline, adding “Nancy refused the offers and that is when she would often publicly lash out at Julia.”
An autopsy for Motes is scheduled for Monday but a toxicology report will take between 8 and 10 weeks.