Julia Roberts is sadly mourning the loss of her mother, Betty Lou Motes, after she passed away on Feb. 19 after a long battle with lung cancer.

“This has been the worst year of Julia’s life,” confides a family insider.

Still reeling from the suicide of her half sister, Nancy Motes, last winter, Julia, 47, had been trying to save her mother, Betty, as her lung cancer spread. “Julia is wracked with guilt over the whole sad situation,” says the insider.

julia roberts' mother

Julia and her mother in March 1993.

The crisis began in November 2013, when Betty’s cancer was first detected and Julia vowed they would beat it together.

“Julia got her the best oncologists money could buy,” confides the insider. “She refused to listen to people who said her mother was a lost cause. She refused to let her mother die.”

To help oversee Betty’s care, Julia convinced her to relocate from Atlanta to Southern California. The move made sense: Julia’s eldest sibling, actor Eric Roberts, is largely out of their lives and her half sister, Nancy, had mental problems.

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“Julia only wanted the best for Betty,” explains the family insider. “She thought she’d be better off living in her own place in Pacific Palisades and away from Nancy’s negative influence. She made every effort to give her a happy and comfortable life.”

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