Ashley Judd Confirms Self-Inflicted Gunshot Was Cause Of Naomi’s Death

In a pre-taped interview with Diane Sawyer that aired on Thursday’s episode of Good Morning America, Ashley Judd confirmed Naomi Judd’s cause of death.

The country music legend died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Naomi, 76, had been battling mental illness.

“She used a weapon…my mother used a firearm,” Ashley said. “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.”

Ashley said the family decided to share the information, otherwise it would “become public without our control.”

“It was a mixed day,” she said of 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.”



Larry Strickland, Ashley’s stepfather, was traveling on the day her mom passed. Ashley had to break the news to him.

“I was in high functioning shock and we all grieve in our own way,” she said. “And I just said, ‘Pop, I love you and I am with you …’ and then had to, obviously, say the next piece but that’s how we are as a family, we love each other and we are with each other.”

“Mom was a brilliant conversationalist,” Ashley added. “She was a star, she was an underrated songwriter. And she was someone who suffered from mental illness, you know, and had a lotta trouble getting off the sofa, except to go into town every day to the Cheesecake Factory, where all the staff knew and loved her.”

Ashley went on to talk about her relationship with her mother.

“I really accepted the love my mother was capable of giving me, because I knew she was fragile. And every time we hugged and she drank me in, I was very present for those tactile experiences. Because I knew there would come a time when she would be gone, whether it was sooner or whether it was later. Whether it was by the disease or another cause.”

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