Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, fell victim to an elaborate hoax involving a child dying of cancer. The couple appeared on ABC’s Nightline to share their story. It all started with an email Kim received from a mother named “Carrie” who said that her daughter, Claire, was dying of neuroblastoma.
“She said that her daughter had begged her to get in touch with me,” Kimberly said. “So it sounded very real. But she wasn’t dying to get a hold of me. You know, that was kind of the beginning of the manipulation.”
Watch Brad and Kimberly tell their story below:
“You’re singing to someone’s dying kid,” Brad said. “And in the middle of it, there’s no way that’s not real. How can that not be real?”
When “Claire” died, however, red flags started to appear. The mother refused to give an address for the Paisleys to send flowers and suggested they donate to their local children’s hospital instead. She also wrote an email telling them she didn’t need them praying for her.
The Paisleys aren’t the only celebrities to fall victim, however. Nightline learned of at least a dozen others who were fed similar stories, including Little Big Town, reality television star Kate Gosselin, Wipeout hosts John Henson and Jill Wagner, members of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and singers Mandisa, Natalie Grant, Francesca Battistelli and Carmen Hope Thomas.