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Julia Roberts Cancels Oscar Luncheon Appearance After Death of Half-Sister Nancy Motes

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Julia Roberts / Nancy Motes (Startraksphoto.com/Splash News)

Monday was supposed to be a day of celebration for Julia Roberts. The "August: Osage County" actress was due to be feted with this year's other Oscar nominees at the annual Academy Awards luncheon. But the star canceled her appearance after learning her half sister, Nancy Motes, died of an apparent overdose.

"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," reads a family statement. "There is no official report from the coroner's office yet. The family is both shocked and devastated."

No further information is available at this time.

Motes, 37, was the younger half-sibling of Julia, Eric Roberts (father of Emma Roberts), and their sister Lisa Roberts Gillan. The siblings shared the same mother, Betty Lou. Motes's father was Michael Motes.

Nancy Motes worked as a production assistant on Fox's "Glee," a job that Julia reportedly helped Motes get.

There has been no comment from Julia, Eric, or Emma on their devastating loss.

But by some accounts their family life wasn't always happy. In an August 2013 profile in the New York Daily News, Motes detailed for the first time the rocky relationship between her and Julia.

Motes, who once weighed close to 300 pounds, had gastric bypass surgery in 2010, cutting her weight in half.

At the time of the Daily News interviews, Motes was living in an apartment in Malibu with her fiancé, John Dilbeck, who worked as a film and TV locations manager. The newspaper reported that they had plans to marry in May of this year.

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