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If MTV’s Catfish taught us anything, it’s that everyone is susceptible to online scams—even celebrities.
Country music star Brad Paisley, 41, and his wife, Nashville actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, 42, have opened up to ABC’s Nightline about being the victims of an online hoax, in which a woman claimed to have had a young daughter who was suffering from Neuroblastoma—a form of childhood cancer that is usually fatal.
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The mother, who said her name was Carrie, sent emails saying that her eight-year-old daughter, “Claire” had asked her mother to “find” Kimberly; the actress obliged and reached out to the supposedly dying girl (who they had seen photos of and read letters from); Brad even got on the phone to sing “Amazing Grace” to her.
However, it wasn’t until Claire had allegedly passed away that the Paisleys got suspicious; when Kimberly asked about funeral answers, Carrie couldn’t provide a solid answer.
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“I had a physical reaction,” Kimberly told Nightline. “Every red flag went up that I couldn’t ask a simple question.”
The couple explained that they had learned that the photos that had been told were of Claire were actually of a real Neuroblastoma patient living in Southern California.
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“That’s the sickest part about this to me,” Brad told Nightline. “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.”
In a twist of irony, Brad is actually no stranger to realities of lies online; his song “Online” talks about someone who is living their fantasy out through an online persona.
“Online I’m out in Hollywood/I’m 6’5” and I look damn good/Even on a slow day, I can have a three way/Chat with two women at one time,” he sings. “Yeah, I’m so much cooler online.”