The news is not making huge headlines due to the fact that she was not an actress like her half-sister, but Julia Roberts’ family suffered a loss over the weekend when her half-sister was found dead.
Nancy Motes, the half-sister of Julia Roberts, died of an apparent drug overdose over the weekend. Motes was 47-years-old when she died, and her body was discovered on Sunday, February 9th. She was the youngest sibling of Julia and their older brother, actor Eric Roberts.
Their family released a statement that read “It is with deep sadness that the family of Nancy Motes…confirms that she was found dead in Los Angeles yesterday of an apparent drug overdose. The family is both shocked and devastated.”
She was discovered in the bathtub of a Los Angeles home where she had been pet sitting, and there was evidence of drug use and an apparent suicide. For a long time, Motes had struggled with being overweight, and she also had a difficult relationship with Julia Roberts, saying last year that it was “a work in progress.”
Ugh. Even in death that poor woman is referred to as "Julia Roberts' half-sister". Nancy Motes must have been sick of that.
— Chris Barnes (@TheBarnesology) February 11, 2014
With an update on her death, Lieutenant Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner said “There were prescription and non-prescription drugs found at the scene. Cannot tell you what those drugs were. The role the drugs may or may not have played is not yet known. The investigator at the scene listed at this point that he is going with suicide and we are waiting for the doctor to finish the examination.”
Julia Roberts was most recently seen in the ensemble drama August: Osage County, and was forced to cancel public appearances where she was set to promote the film following the news of Nancy Motes’ death. Roberts is nominated for an Oscar for her role in the film, in addition to Meryl Streep, who plays her mother in the dysfunctional family film.
The two sisters were estranged in their adulthood, and Motes claimed that Julia Roberts had consistently teased her about her weight when she was growing up, and had made her feel bad about herself for years.
Motes once weighed nearly 300 pounds before undergoing gastric bypass surgery in June 2010. She was also hoping that her physical transformation may have been able to repair her relationship with Julia Roberts.
Nancy Motes was a native of Georgia, and the daughter of Julia Roberts’ mother, Betty Lou, and stepfather, Michael Motes.
Image via Wikimedia Commons