Country star Brad Paisley, who is co-hosting tonight's CMA Awards, and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, were the victims of an emotional online hoax this fall. They talked to ABC News about their ordeal.
A stranger named Carrie emailed Williams-Paisley, who stars on the TV show "Nashville," in early September, saying her daughter Claire was dying of cancer.
"She said that her daughter had begged her to get in touch with me," Williams-Paisley told ABC News.
The mother even sent photos of her daughter and recordings of songs the girl had supposedly sung for Williams-Paisley. What followed was a series of phone calls, texts, and emails between Williams-Paisley and the mother. Brad Paisley even got on the phone at one point to sing "Amazing Grace" to an 8-year-old little girl he thought was dying. (Photos: Jim Shea; Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
The hoax became known when the girl supposedly died. Carrie would not give the Paisleys an address to send flowers. The Paisleys found out Carrie had sent them photos of an actual girl battling neuroblastoma in California, reports ABC News.
"That's the sickest part about this to me," Brad Paisley told ABC News. "That is the part that when I start to talk about that, that's when I get really mad. That there were real kids, that there were real photos involved."
Here is the email Williams-Paisley received from Carrie, obtained by ABC News:
From: Carrie Kahler
Subject: Claire/ Kimberly Williams
Date: September 3, 2012 8:04:54 PM PDT
Hello, my name is Carrie Kahler. I have an eight year old daughter Claire who is
suffering from end stage cancer (neuroblastoma). A couple weeks ago Claire asked
me If I could "find" Miss Kimberly for her. I told her I would do my best but made no
promises. Well, to be honest with all the chaos and excitement that ensued with Claire
coming home from the hospital with hospice. I forgot. However Claire reminded me
earlier today. I asked Claire why it was so important for me to find miss Kimberly for her
she said, "Mommy miss Kimberly deserves to know how much she has helped me. She
left fingerprints on my heart." After hearing that I decided I would do whatever I could to
let Kimberly know about Claire.
Please know we are not wanting or asking for anything from you or Kimberly. Claire is
going to be with Jesus very soon. Nothing on this earth is going to save her from that.
Claire has written a very sweet letter for Kimberly and would like her to read it before
she passes away. I don't know if that is possible. I was hoping to email Claire's letter to
you and maybe you could forward it to Kimberly. Claire knows Kimberly from a movie
"The Christmas Shoes".
She doesn't know who she is married to or that she has made other movies. I promise
we want nothing. If you cannot forward claires letter can you pass along this message
from her to Kimberly?
"Miss Kimberly thank you for making my heart so happy. You have a very pretty heart.
Lots of grown ups can't see it but I can.
I will never forget how you made me feel the first time I saw your movie. You made me
feel so brave and I'm not scared to die because you helped me be brave. I love you.
love from the Kahler family
David Carrie Claire Conner and Caleb
The Paisleys aren't the only celebrities to fall victim to such a hoax. The band Little Big Town, reality TV star Kate Gosselin, and singer Natalie Grant, were victims of similar hoaxes.
-- Ryan Lochte injured by excited fan (People.com)
-- David Arquette's girlfriend Christina McLarty pregnant with their first child together (E! News)
-- Cruise says he's close to daughter despite work (AP)
-- Truffles, totes, and Target wine: These are a few of Oprah's favorite things (Entertainment Weekly)
-- Jessica Biel steals the show at Tilda Swinton's big night (Pop Sugar)
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