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‘The trauma of discovering and then holding her toiling body haunts my nights’: Ashley Judd describes rocking mother Naomi as she died
- Country star Naomi Judd was alive when her daughter Ashley found her with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head
- In a poignant essay in The New York Times, Ashley described how her mother’s discovery after her suicide in April was “the most shattering day of my life.”
- Instead of comforting her mother as she dies, Ashley said police officers questioned her and kept her away from Naomi.
Country star Naomi Judd was alive when her daughter Ashley found her with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
In a poignant essay in The New York Times, Ashley described how her mother’s discovery after her suicide in April was “the most shattering day of my life.”
“The trauma of discovering and holding her toiling body haunts my nights,” she wrote.
But instead of comforting Naomi as she dies, Ashley said police officers questioned her hard and kept her away from her mother.
“I felt cornered and powerless as law enforcement officers began questioning me as the last of my mother’s life faded,” she wrote, “I wanted to comfort her and tell her how she was about to see her father and younger brother.” while she “went home,” as we say in Appalachia.”
Ashley revealed the heartbreaking details while announcing that she was undertaking a “legal cause” to prevent the public from accessing police records in sensitive and intimate personal situations.
“I intend to make the subsequent invasion of privacy – the privacy of the deceased and the privacy of the family – both a personal and a legal cause,” she wrote.
Naomi died in April 2022 at the age of 76 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Nashville medical examiner confirmed last week.
According to the report, Judd suffered from “significant” anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.
Ashley Judd (left) with her mother Naomi Judd (center) and her sister Wynonna Judd (right)
The country superstar died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in April 2022 at age 76
Ashley said she was in such a state of shock after finding her dying mother that she was answering questions from the police “that I wouldn’t have answered any other day” and never considered whether the public would have access to them later.
“In the immediate aftermath of a life-changing tragedy, when we find ourselves in a state of acute shock, trauma, panic and distress, the authorities show up to speak to us,” she wrote, “because many of us are socially conditioned to cooperating with the police, we are completely unguarded in what we say.’
“The men present left us with the feeling of having been stripped of every sensitive boundary, interrogated and, in my case, as if I was a possible suspect in my mother’s suicide.”
Ashley said she did not blame the officers at the scene for their approach, but instead the “terrible, outdated interrogation procedures and methods of dealing with relatives in shock or trauma,” which she assumed they had learned.