Ashley Judd has shared details about her mother Naomi Judd’s cause of death.
Singer/actress Naomi, who formed the country music duo The Judds with her eldest daughter Wynonna Judd, died at the age of 76 on 30 April.
During an interview with Diane Sawyer for Good Morning America that aired on Thursday, Ashley explained that she and her sister, as well as their stepfather Larry Strickland, had decided to address Naomi’s death before the details become “public without our control”.
“There are many places to begin. I think that I would start with – my mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish. And that she was walked home,” she began. “When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important and – to be clear, and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real – and it’s enough to – it lies. It’s savage.”
Ashley went on to describe how she was spending time with her mother at home and went to welcome a friend inside who had just arrived.
“I went upstairs to let her know that the friend was there and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her,” the actress continued. “She used a weapon. Mother used a firearm. That’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that – if we don’t say it, someone else is going to.
“She obviously was suffering. And, as such, her days up until that moment – were hurtful to her.”
Elsewhere during the conversation, Ashley remembered how her mother was a “brilliant conversationalist” and an “unfailingly kind, sensitive woman”.
She also urged others suffering from mental health issues to reach out for help.
“There is a national suicide hotline and that people who are in distress can call that national suicide hotline. And that there’s the National Alliance for Mental Illness and they, too, have a hotline,” she added. “And so I (am) very careful when we talk about this today that for anyone who is having those ideas or those impulses, you know, to talk to someone, to share, to be open, to be vulnerable.”