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What Did Ashley Judd Share in a New Interview about Cause of Mom Naomi Judd’s Passing?

Busayo Ogunjimi
May 12, 2022
03:15 P.M.
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Naomi Judd has passed on, but not in the simplest of ways. Her daughter Ashley Judd spoke for their family when she came forward to reveal the uneasy details about her mother's demise before someone else did. Here's what she had to say. 

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April 30, 2022, was a sad day for those who loved and adored talented singer Naomi Judd because it was on that day that her daughters confirmed that she had passed away. 

The pair made the tragic announcement via a statement they shared on Twitter. It triggered an outpour of sad reactions from fans who had enjoyed her musical body of work which she developed along with Wynonna, one of her daughters. 

Ashley Judd during the "Feminism: A Battlefield Report" segment at the 10th Anniversary Women In The World Summit on April 11, 2019, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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HOW DID NAOMI JUDD DIE?

The late singer hailed from Kentucky and was a talented country artist who formed a Grammy-winning duo named The Judds alongside her daughter Wynonna, 57. 

The mother-daughter pair were famous for their hits, including "Love Can Build a Bridge," "Mama He's Crazy," "Why Not Me," and "Grandpa." When she passed, the late Kentucky native was 76, and nobody saw her death coming.

Naomi Judd at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

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The Twitter statement her daughters released revealed that they lost her to the "disease of mental illness" but did not give specifics about how she died. 

Her other daughter, Ashley Judd, later opened up about the details in a recent interview about her mother's passing.

Naomi Judd during "Varney & Co" at Fox News Channel Studios on December 8, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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WHAT ASHLEY JUDD SAID IN HER INTERVIEW WITH GMA

In an emotional interview with Diane Sawyer, Ashley spoke up about coping with things after her mother's passing and shed light on her final exit.

According to the actress, it was too soon to be talking about her mother's demise. However, their family had decided that it was best to get it all out there "before things become public without our control." 

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Ashley's speaking up resulted from their family's unanimous decision to make sure that her late mom's dignity was preserved even as news of her demise continued to spread. She said

"Both sister and Pop [Ashley's stepfather Larry Strickland] have sort of deputized me in certain ways to speak on behalf of the family at this early time before things about April 30 become public without our control."

Ashley declared that her mom had passed on, knowing that she was "seen" and "heard" in her anguish. 

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She then stated that it was important to distinguish between the "savage" mental health disease and their loved one before revealing that she was visiting her mom's Tennessee house — as she did every day — when things went sideways. She said

"Mom said to me, 'Will you stay with me?' And I said, 'Of course I will.'" 

Ashley had just stepped out to welcome a friend of her mother's who had also come to visit, but it was too late when she returned upstairs to let Naomi know. 

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In her interview, Ashley stated that the information their family was uncomfortable sharing about their mom was that the late singer had taken her own life. She said it was only coming out now because if they did not reveal it, someone else would. 

Ashley said that even though others had shown Naomi love, the late singer had experienced self-doubt. In her words

"Our mother couldn't hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers. That was the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside her."

Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna perform onstage at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois, February 1, 1991 | Source: Getty Images

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While it is a tragic end, Ashley and the rest of her family have chosen to maintain Naomi's dignity and will do their best to preserve it. 

Ashley has taken to social media several times to express her grief. On May 6, she penned an essay about her first Mother's Day without her mom. 

Naomi and Wynonna Judd at The Venetian Las Vegas on October 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.| Source: Getty Images

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Ashley shared that she would have given her mother a box of old-fashioned candy to commemorate the day like they usually did.

However, even though Naomi has passed on, Ashley declared that she is filled with "gratitude for what she left behind." The late star is survived by the actress, Wynonna, and her husband, Larry Strickland. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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