Actress Julia Roberts attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
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April 21, 2014 5:40 PM EDT

Actress Julia Roberts described the sudden death of her half-sister Nancy Motes as “just heartbreak.” The 46-year-old star spoke to WSJ Magazine magazine just 20 days after Motes was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in February, although the interview was not published until today.

“It’s just heartbreak,” Roberts said, adding, “There aren’t words to explain what any of us have been through in these last 20 days. It’s hour by hour some days, but you just keep looking ahead.” Motes, who was found dead in Los Angeles on February 9, was 37 and had worked as a production assistant on Glee. The cause of death has not been released.

“You don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone, but there are so many tragic, painful, inexplicable things in the world,” Roberts said. “But [as with] any situation of challenge and despair we must find a way, as a family.”

Roberts told the magazine she had been practicing meditation and chanting in order to stay calm, a practice she passed along to her children. “We share and just say, ‘This is a way I comfort myself,'” Roberts said.

The full interview, available here, was conducted to promote an upcoming HBO film “The Normal Heart,” which stars Roberts.


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