Internet hoaxes are nothing new, unfortunately, and they range from tricking someone into thinking they're falling in love with someone to scamming people out of their hard-earned money. The latest hoax is targeting celebrities and works by playing on their emotions by sending a letter from a child dying with cancer.
Nashville star Kimberly Williams-Paisley and husband Brad Paisley found themselves the victims of such a hoax last year and have decided to go public with it.
Back in September of 2012, an email was sent to Kimberly requesting that she get in touch with a woman's 8-year-old daughter who was dying from neuroblastoma, a type of cancer. The family wasn't asking for any money--they just wanted Kimberly to get in touch with the young girl because she was such a big fan.
Read the email that was sent to Kimberly Williams-Paisley and obtained by ABC below.
From: Carrie Kahler
Subject: Claire/ Kimberly Williams
Date: September 3, 2012 8:04:54 PM PDT
Hello, my name is Carrie Kahler. I have an eight year old daughter Claire who is suffering from end stage cancer (neuroblastoma). A couple weeks ago Claire asked me If I could "find" Miss Kimberly for her. I told her I would do my best but made no promises. Well, to be honest with all the chaos and excitement that ensued with Claire coming home from the hospital with hospice. I forgot. However Claire reminded me earlier today. I asked Claire why it was so important for me to find miss Kimberly for her she said, "Mommy miss Kimberly deserves to know how much she has helped me. She left fingerprints on my heart." After hearing that I decided I would do whatever I could to let Kimberly know about Claire.
Please know we are not wanting or asking for anything from you or Kimberly. Claire is going to be with Jesus very soon. Nothing on this earth is going to save her from that.
Claire has written a very sweet letter for Kimberly and would like her to read it before she passes away. I don't know if that is possible. I was hoping to email Claire's letter to you and maybe you could forward it to Kimberly. Claire knows Kimberly from a movie "The Christmas Shoes".
She doesn't know who she is married to or that she has made other movies. I promise we want nothing. If you cannot forward claires letter can you pass along this message from her to Kimberly?
"Miss Kimberly thank you for making my heart so happy. You have a very pretty heart. Lots of grown ups can't see it but I can. I will never forget how you made me feel the first time I saw your movie. You made me feel so brave and I'm not scared to die because you helped me be brave. I love you. Love, Claire."
love from the Kahler family
David Carrie Claire Conner and Caleb
"It sounded very sort of real," Kimberly said. "But she wasn't dying to get a hold of me. You know, that was kind of the beginning of the manipulation. As a mother, wanting my kids to be okay, she hit my softest spot."
The mother even sent pictures of her daughter as well as recordings of songs the girl had sung for Kimberly. Needless to say, Kimberly and Brad were sold. They ended up communicating with the girl and her mother and Brad sang Amazing Grace to the girl on the phone at one point.
"You're singing to someone's dying kid," Brad said. "And in the middle of it, there's no way that's not real. How can that not be real?
The truth comes out.
The hoax was revealed after the mother told Kimberly and Brad that the girl had died. When the couple wanted to send flowers, the woman refused to give her address. She then sent Kimberly an email saying, "I don't need you to pray for me. Doesn't seem like god hears much of anything these days."
After doing some investigating, Kimberly and Brad discovered that they were the victims of a hoax and that the woman had been using pictures of another child with cancer to trick them. The woman apparently took pictures off another mom's blog that tracked the progress of her child with neuroblastoma.
"That's the sickest part about this to me," Brad Paisley said. "That is the part that when I start to talk about that, that's when I get really mad. That there were real kids, that there were real photos involved."
Apparently, the Paisleys aren't the only celebrities that have been victimized by this emotional hoax. Natalie Grant, band members from Little Big Town and reality TV star Kate Gosselin are just a few celebrities that have been tricked.
Kimberly says that she and her husband decided to come out on the hoax to hopefully prevent others from being victimized. “We really wanted to come out and talk about it publicly just to draw attention to what can happen so that people are aware,” she said. “When they put their kids online, pictures of their kids online, things like this can happen.”
Image via Twitter