Ashley Judd shares details about her mother’s death from mental illness

NEW YORK – Actress Ashley Judd spoke to “Hello America” Thursday confirming that his mother, country music star Naomi Judd, died after taking her own life.

“My mom used a gun,” Ashley Judd told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer. “That’s the information that we’re very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that – if we don’t say it, someone else will.”

Ashley Judd said she was visiting her 76-year-old mother in Nashville, Tennessee when she found her mother’s body on April 30.

“Mom said to me, ‘Do you want to stay with me?’ And I said, ‘Of course I will,’ Judd said.

Judd said she came out later to greet her mother’s friend who had arrived.

FILE – Naomi Judd poses at the Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on October 6, 2012. Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, it has been announced her family on Saturday, April 30, 2022. She was 76 years old. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

“I went upstairs to let her know the friend was there and found her,” Judd said.

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Naomi Judd died just a day before she and her other daughter, Wynonna Judd, were inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Ashley Judd said she suffered from both trauma and grief after discovering her mother’s body.

“We realize that while mourning the loss of a wife and mother, we are, in a weird way, a public family,” Judd said. “So that’s really the impetus for that timing. Otherwise it’s obviously way too early. So it’s important for us to say that upfront.

Naomi Judd was open about her health issues, as well as her severe depression and anxiety. In her memoir, “River of Time,” she described her diagnosis of hepatitis C, which she said she unknowingly contracted while she was a nurse. She said that in 1995 her doctors told her she was completely free of the virus.

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In the memoir, she described feeling like she had lost her identity when she returned home from a reunion tour in 2010, isolating herself at home and dealing with crippling panic attacks. She also said she was traumatized by childhood sexual abuse. She was admitted to a psychiatric ward of a hospital and spent time in an outpatient treatment program.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Copyright 2022 by WPLG – All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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