Country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, were duped into an online relationship with a woman who convinced the celebrity couple that her daughter was dying of cancer.
The couple told Nightline that the woman who identified herself as “Carrie” had sent Williams-Paisley an email
saying she had a young daughter suffering from neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer found in infants and small children, and didn’t have long to live.
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“She said that her daughter had begged her to get in touch with me,” the actress said, adding that Carrie went on to say that she had forgotten about the request while dealing with the care for her daughter.
“So it sounded very sort of real,” Williams-Paisley said. “But she wasn’t dying to get ahold of me. You know, that was kind of the beginning of the manipulation.”
The manipulation lasted 10 days as Williams-Paisley and “Carrie” shared dozens of emails, phone calls, and text messages. Brad Paisley said he got on the phone once and sang “Amazing Grace.”
The hoax fell apart after the girl, whom the mom called “Claire,” died and “Carrie” wouldn’t provide an address for the Paisleys to send flowers for the funeral. She followed that up with a nasty email.
“I had a physical reaction,” Kimberly told Nightline. “Every red flag went up that I couldn’t ask a simple question.”
It turns out the photos the “mom” had sent were lifted from the blog of a real girl in Southern California who was suffering from cancer. “That’s the sickest part about this to me,” Brad Paisley said.
People on Twitter were not happy about the news.
The Paisleys aren’t the only ones who have fallen for an online hoax. Former Notre Dame football star Manti T’eo, who now plays for the Chargers, was duped into a bogus Internet romance. And Nightline says it identified a number of other celebrities who were similarly fooled.
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