Julia Roberts was a mean bully to her own sister. Nancy Motes, the A-lister’s younger half-sister, claims that Julia discouraged her from going into acting and teased her for years about her weight, prompting her to undergo gastric bypass surgery.
Nancy shares the same mother, Betty Lou, with Julia. Her father, Michael Motes, married Betty Lou four years after the latter’s divorce from Julia’s father, Walter Roberts, finalised. Her other older half-siblings, Lisa Roberts and Eric Roberts, are also actors.
But while Nancy claims her family love each other “absolutely,” it wasn’t always lovely in their home. The “Pretty Woman” star was apparently the bully who had taunted her sister for being overweight, causing the sister to suffer from depression.
“When I was in high school and she was an adult, she would just let me know that I was definitely overweight,” her 37-year-old sister told the NY Daily News. “She would make it quite clear to me and in a not-so-nice a manner."
“It just makes me feel incredibly hurt and very sad.”
Nancy, who nearly reached 300 pounds in weight, was still an “awkward” eight-grader when Julia had her breakout role in Hollywood as Vivian Ward in the smash hit “Pretty Woman” in 1990. Her classmates bullied her over Julia’s role as a prostitute, but that role helped Julia’s career to skyrocket.
She described Julia as a “good big sister who played with me a lot” but not very supportive.
She headed to Los Angeles in 1995 to pursue an acting career of her own after graduating high school, but “Julia did not want to see me go down that path.”
“Mostly because I was overweight,” Nancy explained. “My weight has fluctuated my entire life. So I just got a lot of criticism from Julia, which was very discouraging for me.”
So rather than chase her dream, she went back to Georgia and ended up living in her mother’s basement.
It was in April 2010 when their already shaky relationship suffered more. Julia allegedly made a snide remark about her weight, which forced her half-sister to answer back with a “F*** you.”
Julia still helped her land a job as a production assistant on the U.S. TV show “Glee,” but Nancy fell into a deep depression, causing her weight to reach 289 pounds.
Nancy then underwent a gastric bypass procedure in 2010. Now weighing at 155 pounds, she hopes that her new thinner look will help repair her relationship with the 45-year-old actress.
“I think we’re both trying to change our opinions of each other. It’s a work in progress. It’s not going to be fixed overnight, nor do I think it’s going to be fixed at this point by me just getting skinny.”
In May, the National Enquirer reported that Julia would be boycotting Nancy’s wedding to film and TV locations manager John Dilbeck in May 2014. She was allegedly convinced that John was just “sponging off” her sister, who “doesn’t have much money in the first place.”
But Nancy denied the report, insisting that their sisterly love is strong.
“My family, we love each other absolutely,” Motes continued to the paper. “I love Julia absolutely, and I have no doubt she loves me.”