Julia Roberts Attends Half-Sister Nancy Motes' "Intimate and Moving" Funeral in Georgia

Celebrity News May. 6, 2014 AT 2:25PM
Julia Roberts Julia Roberts attended her half-sister Nancy Motes' funeral on Saturday, May 3; a source tells Us Weekly the service was "intimate and moving" Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Julia Roberts said goodbye to her half sister, Nancy Motes, on Saturday, May 3, in her hometown of Smyrna, Ga. A source confirms to Us Weekly that the Oscar winner helped her mother, Betty Lou, bury Motes' ashes at a memorial service held at the New Smyrna Cemetery.

The insider adds that Roberts, 46, was "very polite and kind" at the ceremony, which was attended by family and friends of her late sister. The same source describes the service as "intimate and moving."

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Roberts' half-sister Motes was found dead at age 37 on Feb. 9, of an apparent drug overdose. A suicide note was later discovered at the scene. In the days leading up to her death, Motes' relationship with Roberts appeared to be strained, but the beloved actress said she was still grappling with her sibling's suicide in a recent interview.

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"It's hour by hour some days, but you just keep looking ahead," Roberts told WSJ. Magazine in March. "You don't want anything bad to happen to anyone, but there are so many tragic, painful, inexplicable things in the world."

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Roberts—sister to actor Eric Roberts and aunt to Emma Roberts—added, "But [as with] any situation of challenge and despair, we must find a way, as a family. It's so hard to formulate a sentence about it outside the weepy huddle of my family."

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Though Motes was remembered by those who loved her most, her fiance John Dilbeck shared that he was not invited to the service. "To my disappointment, I was not invited to attend the memorial services in Georgia, for my fiance #NancyMotes, Saturday May 3rd 2014Travesty," Dilbeck tweeted.

"It's devastating. I found out Sunday that they had the funeral service without me," Dilbeck told the New York Daily News on Monday, May 5. "They did it so there was no possible way I could attend. I believe that with all my heart. I should be allowed to pay my respects. She was the love of my life, and this would have been our wedding month. May 17 was our wedding date. I feel so empty, it’s like I have no more tears left to cry."

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