THE fiance of Julia Roberts’ tragic sister Nancy Motes – who drowned after a drug overdose – has hit out at the star claiming she still hasn’t paid tribute or expressed any sadness at the death.
Speaking days after the six year anniversary of Nancy’s death, John Dilbeck told The Sun he will never forgive or forget what he claims Julia Roberts did to her half-sister, who accused the star of bullying her before she passed.
Nancy, a dog trainer, died aged 37 on 9 February 2014, from drowning in the bath following a drug overdose in Los Angeles.
She wrote a suicide note blaming Julia for bullying her most of her adult life, writing: “My so-called siblings get nothing except the memory that they are the ones that drove me into the deepest depression I’ve been in.”
Around the time of her death, John publicly blamed the Hollywood actress for intimidating and harassing Nancy, who gave an interview just months before she died claiming she’d been taunted by her elder half-sibling for being overweight.
Now, in his first full interview since that time, John still points the finger at Julia, who he claims has never publicly remembered the anniversary of Nancy’s death or given a tribute apart from saying the family were “heartbroken” at the time.
John, 37, said: “I’m sure she thinks of Nancy now, she’s still a human being like all of us, I’m sure she feels a sense of guilt that she wouldn’t open up to in public.
“They never acknowledged her existence, just like when she was alive. Out of sight, out of mind, as long as the world never hears about it, then it doesn’t matter.
“If she acknowledges Nancy’s death, she would feel horribly guilty, as she wouldn’t be able to say anything genuine.”
Nancy and Julia, who have different dads, had a rocky relationship for most of their lives.
While Julia, now 52, left home in Smyrna, Georgia, to make it in Hollywood, Nancy was the primary carer for their mother Betty.
When Nancy moved to Los Angeles to be closer to John, she took Betty with her, hoping they could all live together. She started looking for film work and got a job as a production assistant with the hit TV show Glee.
“Julia was always giving Nancy hell because Nancy was Betty’s favorite child, she took care of her, and there’s no amount of fame or money, which could change that,” John claimed.
“Nancy was a dog trainer and her first dog Zelda was in a few movies based in Atlanta – Julia would get jealous that her dog would get roles so easily in movies and she couldn’t find even a bit part.
“But Julia didn’t want Nancy to be in front of the camera, or have any affiliation with films. She felt that she was a sign of failure because she was overweight and her last name wasn’t Roberts.
“In January 2010, I drove them both to Los Angeles. Betty had no relatives back in Georgia, so it made sense for her to come as well. We made a week-long trip of it sightseeing, going through New Orleans and Grand Canyon. The plan was for Nancy and Betty to live together.
“But by the time they got here, Julia had already got Betty a house in Pacific Palisades and there was no room for Nancy.”
Over the next two years, John claims that Julia would stand in the way of Nancy seeing her mother.
In an interview with Harper Bazaar in 2017, Julia admitted that she could be difficult in her early years, saying: “I was my priority, a selfish little brat running around making films.”
Speaking for the first time about Nancy’s last Thanksgiving and Christmas, John says that she had already lost the battle with her famous sibling, who by this time had power of attorney over Betty, who’d just been diagnosed with lung cancer.
“Julia always felt that Nancy had her time with their mother, now it’s her turn, as if she was a toy or animal. I remember Nancy wouldn’t speak to Julia at this point, so Julia would call me, and I’d beg Julia for them to get along for Betty’s sake, but she said: ‘No, there should be no Betty and Nancy.’
“But Nancy would still see Betty like when she was at the hospital, but every time she did this, there would be some form of retaliation. For someone going through chemo and surgery like Betty, it would be extremely detrimental.
“No one was as close to Betty as Nancy was, and this is what aggravated Julia no end, but no amount of what I would describe as bullying or threatening behavior could change that.
“One of Julia’s friends had told her that Nancy and Betty had met in secret, so Julia and Lisa got Betty to have Thanksgiving by herself, despite the fact Nancy was the only family member in town, but she was banned from Julia’s property.
“Then Julia got Betty to attend Christmas at her New Mexico ranch, which drove Nancy into a inconsolable depression. She was again banned from attending in my opinion.
“That final Christmas, she received texts like: ‘I hope you’re enjoying your Christmas in your Motes nest’. My family tried our best to make that Christmas as happy as possible, but she couldn’t control the taunting and pain.
“I think they saw her as a peasant, she can’t be a part of the family. That was her last Christmas of 2013.
“Nancy saw Betty just before Thanksgiving and it was last time they ever met, it was extremely emotional. Betty felt like she was out control.
“Then we weren’t allowed to contact Betty again.”
Betty died of cancer aged 80 on 19 February 2015.
Since her death, John, has lived in their old apartment in Santa Monica, and has thrown himself into his job as a top Hollywood TV and film location manager.
He said: “My family and I light candles and will always remember her on the special occasions. The anniversary shouldn’t ever be forgotten. She’s very much a part of my life.
“Earlier in the grieving process, I was going through the anger phase – I don’t feel as much like that now. I lost myself in work as a coping mechanism, my social life has been non-existent. I hardly see my friends and people are always wondering if I’m alive.
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“I was left with nothing of Nancy’s, they took thousands of her items – her phone, iPad, car, jewelry, you name it.
“The only thing I had was our dog, who passed away last year – she was 17, a German Shepherd named Lucy. It was like losing a child, it was the last dog she trained. It was a pretty overwhelming grief.”
Representative for Julia did not respond to repeated requests for comment.