Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams Paisley Duped By Cancer Hoaxster
Actress Kimberly Williams Paisley, the star of TV's Nashville, is talking about the way she reacted to the sound of a dying girl's voice on the telephone.
"I cried. I mean, it was very painful. The emotional rollercoaster was really tough," she said.
On the voicemail, a little girl's voice said, "Hi my Kim. I just wanted to say thank you for letting me love you and thank you for being my miracle."
Problem was, it was all a hoax perpetrated by a woman named Hope Jackson, who claimed to be the mother of the imaginary child.
Kimberly tells tonight's Nightline on ABC that the hoax began when she got a letter from Jackson.
"She said her daughter had begged her to get in touch with me. She didn't want anything from me, she just wanted to reach out," explains Kimberly.
Kimberly's husband, country superstar Brad Paisley, even sang to the child over the phone.
"I played "Amazing Grace." In the middle of it, it was just like, there's no way that's not real. How can that not be real?" said Brad.
Other celebrities including Johnny Depp and Kate Gosselin were also taken in by the scam. The worst part was when the Paisleys were told the child named Claire was dead.
"It's a parent's worst nightmare," expressed Kimberly.
That's when the scam unravelled.
Kimberly revealed, "I said, 'Where can I send flowers for the funeral?'"
"She didn't have an address?" asked Nightline.
"She said, 'Send a donation to your local children's hospital.' I had a physical reaction. Every red flag went up."
Brad revealed, "I watched my wife buckle when she realized this wasn't a real girl."
Hope Jackson pleaded guilty to theft of services and received five years probation. She never asked for money and is reportedly undergoing counseling.
Kimberly added, "This person was crazy!"