(Video Credit: Good Morning America)
Legendary country singer Naomi Judd died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound according to her daughter Ashley Judd who sought to quiet rumors and gossip about her mother’s death while sitting down for an in-depth, emotional interview with Diane Sawyer that aired on “Good Morning America” Thursday.
“Once I say it, it cannot be unsaid,” she began. “Because we don’t want it to be part of the gossip economy I will share with you that she used a weapon; my mother used a firearm,” Ashley told Sawyer at her home in Tennessee. “So 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.”
“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home,” she recounted. “When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real, and it lies, it’s savage.”
Naomi Judd suffered from a long battle with mental illness and finally succumbed to her inner demons 13 days ago, taking her own life.
Judd was about to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and go back on tour with her daughter Wynonna Judd after ten years off the circuit. Just weeks before Naomi Judd died, she reunited with her daughter Wynonna Judd at the Country Music Awards for a performance.
We're heartbroken to learn about the passing of the legendary Naomi Judd & honored to have shared many unforgettable moments & performances together. Our hearts go out to her husband Larry, daughters Wynonna & Ashley, & legions of fans around the world during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/xTmYvEG1nj
— CMT (@CMT) April 30, 2022
“Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers,” Ashley Judd said. “That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her, because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart, and the lie the disease told her was so convincing.”
“It was a mixed day,” the actress recounted concerning her mother’s last day. “I visit with my mom and pop every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was at the house visiting as I am every day. Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course, I will.’… I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”
The death of Naomi Judd was announced on social media by the Judd sisters.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy,” their sad statement read. “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) April 30, 2022
Wynonna and Ashley Judd are partnering with CMT and Sandbox Live to put on a commercial-free public memorial special to honor their mother, according to the New York Post.
“We are sincerely privileged to work alongside Wynonna, Ashley, and Larry to present this live celebration of life for their mother and wife Naomi. While we all continue to deeply mourn the loss of such a legendary artist, we are honored to commemorate her legacy alongside the country community, her friends, family, and legions of fans across the world at the perfect venue: The Mother Church of Country Music,” CMT Producers announced in a statement. “This special will celebrate her timeless voice, unforgettable spirit, and the immense impact she left on our genre through the best form of healing we have — music.”
“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” will air live from Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, at 6 pm Sunday, May 15.
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