Julia Roberts has been the focus of media attention following the death of her half-sister Nancy Motes. 37-year-old Motes was discovered on Sunday (9th February) in Los Angeles and appears to have committed suicide by overdosing on prescription medication.

Julia Roberts
Nancy Motes suicide note allegedly included pages about her relationship with Julia Roberts (pictured).

Motes was discovered on Sunday by her fiancé, John Dilbeck, in the bathroom of the L.A. house she was staying at. It seems she had been dead for at least 12 hours before her body was discovered at 2pm and had been pet- sitting for one of her clients. Sources suggest that she may have taken an overdose of prescription medication. 

According to some reports, Motes was struggling with drug addiction, although other sources deny this. Roberts, according to reports in NY Daily News, had attempted to check her sister into a rehab centre but Motes was unwilling to co-operate. 

Yet it is not simply Roberts' connection with the deceased which has attracted the attention of the press but their apparently complex and difficult relationship. It seems those close to Roberts believe Motes rejected her sister's help in overcoming her alleged addiction. A source, speaking to RadarOnline.com, said "It [Motes' comments] hurt Julia, but she knew her sister was battling addiction. The addiction to prescription drugs made Nancy a totally different person. There would be periods of sobriety and with that brought clarity. It would be during those moments that the sisters would reconnect. Sadly, of course, those times became less frequent before her death."

Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts Gillian
Nancy Motes was a member of a highly successful family: (L-R) Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts Gillian.

However, those close to Motes claim Roberts had refused to even communicate with her sister, let alone provide support. Another source close to Motes claimed that Motes "was on some prescription medications, but she wasn't abusing them. She wasn't a drug addict." The source continued by stating that Roberts had not offered to help her half-sister and that she had "never offered to pay for anything."

Roberts was, according to reports, evidently on Motes' mind in the hours before her death and she allegedly wrote a five page suicide note. The note, as NY Daily News reports, included a number of pages on her relationship with Roberts in addition to one page to her fiancé and another to her mother. Another source, presumably close to the LAPD, spoke to the NY Daily News about the suicide note: "There were three pages of rantings that her sister drove her to do this. There was one page to her mom, telling her how much she loved her, and one page apologising to [her fiancé, John Dilbeck]."

In the weeks before her death, Motes publically attacked Roberts and the rest of her family on Twitter. The tweets have since been deleted, as Perez Hilton reports, but accused her family of "abandoning her" and verbally abused her older sister. Motes also gave an interview last year in which she claimed the August Osage County actress bullied her, focussing on her weight. 

Roberts has not publically discussed Motes' death and has cancelled a number of public appearances. Her representative released a statement, as E! reports, stating: "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."

Julia Roberts
Nancy Motes gave an interview last year claiming her half-sister, Roberts, bullied her as a teenager.