Ashley Judd takes an unflinching look back at the traumatic final moments of Naomi Judd’s life in a new op-ed penned for The New York Times.
In it, she recounts the experience of finding her mother, who died by suicide: “The trauma of discovering and then holding her laboring body haunts my nights.”
She recalls feeling forced into cooperating with an investigation in the immediate aftermath of that devastating experience — never realizing, at the time, that the information she divulged could be made public.
“I felt cornered and powerless as law enforcement officers began questioning me while the last of my mother’s life was fading,” she writes, saying that she was forced to give four interviews to police the same day that Naomi died.
In the wake of the country legend’s death, her family members headed to court in an attempt to keep the records of Naomi’s death investigation sealed from the public. At the time of the op-ed’s publication, the family was still awaiting the court’s decision.
In the Times, she explains that privacy surrounding the day of Naomi’s death is an important part of preserving her dignity.
“And for those left behind, privacy avoids heaping further harm upon a family that is already permanently and painfully altered,” she continues.
Naomi died by suicide on April 30 at the age of 76. She used a firearm to end her life, a detail that Ashley subsequently shared during an emotional Good Morning America interview. The day after her death, Naomi and her daughter Wynonna were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame for their work as The Judds.
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