Ashley Judd talked about her grief after the death of her mother, country singer Naomi Judd, and advised others to seek help for their mental health.
The actress said she wanted to talk about her mother’s depression in an interview that aired on “Good Morning America” on Thursday. On the day Naomi died on April 30, Judd said she was with her mother at her house in Tennessee.
Judd also encouraged anyone who was having thoughts of harming themselves to reach out to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Naomi Judd died at the age of 76, only a day before she and her daughter Wynonna Judd were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The family stated they lost her to “the disease of mental illness” in a statement to The Associated Press.
Judd said in the interview, “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 lies. It’s savage. And, you know, my mother, our mother, couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers. I mean, 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 that the disease told her was so convincing.”
Ashley Judd confirmed that her mother killed herself with a gun, but requested anonymity on the circumstances of her death. In her memoir “River of Time,” Naomi Judd talked frankly about her melancholy and anxiety, and her daughter Ashley stated it was because of this that she treasured every moment she spent with her mother.
“I really accepted the love my mother was capable of giving me because I knew she was fragile,” Judd said. “So when I walked around the back of their house and came in the kitchen door and she said, ‘There’s my darling, there’s my baby.’ And she lit up. I savored those moments.”
In a nearly three-decade career, Naomi and Wynonna Judd recorded 14 No. 1 singles. The red-headed duo combined the traditional Appalachian sounds of bluegrass with polished pop stylings, scoring hit after hit in the 1980s. With her powerful voice, Wynonna led the duo, while Naomi offered harmonies and an elegant appearance on stage.
The Judds released six studio albums and an EP between 1984 and 1991 and won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven from the Academy of Country Music. They earned a total of five Grammy Awards together on hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love,” and Naomi earned the sixth Grammy for writing “Love Can Build a Bridge.”