Brad Paisley may be smiling onstage tonight as host of the CMA Awards.
But just a short time ago, the country music star and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley experienced a tragic event. The talented duo was the victims of an online hoax.
On Wednesday's Nightline, the couple opens up for the very first time about how they fell victim to a fake internet relationship.
It all started with an email from a complete stranger. A mother in need said that her daughter was dying of cancer and simply wanted to reach out to share her story.
"It sounded very sort of real," Kimberly recalled. "But she wasn't dying to get a hold of me. You know, that was kind of the beginning of the manipulation."
Over the next two weeks, Kimberly communicated with the mother over emails, phone calls and text messages. The Nashville actress also received photographs and a phone call from the sick girl who was believed to be named Claire.
With all the communication back and forth, even Brad was convinced this was the real deal.
"In the middle of it, there's no way that's not real," Paisley explained. "How can that not be real?"
Unfortunately, the famous twosome was fooled.
When the mother suddenly claimed her daughter had died, Kimberly asked for an address to send flowers. The mother wouldn't reply to her request. She would later send an angry email to Kimberly saying, "I don't need you to pray for me!"
After some investigating, Brad and his wife found out it was an entire hoax. The photos of Claire that were so convincing? They actually belonged to an entirely different girl in another state.
According to ABC News, Kimberly and Brad weren't the only famous stars who were fooled. Kate Gosselin, members of Little Big Town and several Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders experienced similar stories.
"As a mother, wanting my kids to be okay" Kimberly tearfully said. "She hit my softest spot."