Julia Roberts' mother 'dies aged 80'

hellomagazine.com

Julia Roberts' mother Betty Lou Motes has passed away, according to a new report in In Touch Weekly. A source told the American publication that Betty died in the early hours of Thursday morning, aged 80.

The actress' mum was being treated at the Saint John's Health Centre in Santa Monica, California at the time of her passing. She was said to have been battling lung cancer.

Previous reports claimed that Betty was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and had surgery to remove part of her lungs. She also underwent intensive radiation treatments, and photos taken last April showed Betty walking with a cane.

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Betty Lou Motes, pictured in 1993, lived with her daughter Julia Roberts

The timing is particularly heartbreaking for Julia and her family, as 9 February marked the one-year death anniversary of Julia's younger half-sister Nancy. Nancy was Betty's daughter and only child from her second marriage to Michael Motes.

After Nancy's passing, Julia moved her mum in to her Los Angeles home, which she shares with her husband Daniel Moder and their three children – ten-year-old twins Finn and Hazel and seven-year-old Henry.

Julia and Betty, who were very close, did not attend Nancy's public memorial in Santa Monica but instead held a private family gathering. At the time the Pretty Woman star spoke about the "heartbreak" she felt at losing her sibling, but did not address rumours that her relationship with Nancy was strained.

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Julia Roberts also lost her half-sister Nancy last February

The two sisters were very close growing up but in the days leading up to her death, Nancy spoke out against Julia in a series of angry tweets.

The production assistant, who was 37, was said to be battling an addiction to prescription drugs. She was found dead inside her Los Angeles apartment of an apparent drug overdose.

According to her fiancé, Nancy also struggled with Julia's fame, and was upset by the actress' departure from the family home for Hollywood when her sister was nine.