Ashley Judd Takes Aim At Mental Illness for Stealing Mom Naomi Judd From Her Family

While Naomi Judd was a top name in country music, her daughter, Ashley Judd, decided to go a different route when it came to the entertainment industry. Although enjoying the spotlight, Ashley landed on the silver screen in films like Double Jeopardy, High Crimes, Ruby In Paradise, and Heat. Sadly, on April 30, 2022, news broke that Naomi passed away after she took her own life. The tragic news came a day before she and Wynonna Judd were scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Missing her mother, Ashley recently supported a new mental health program. 

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Supporting the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, Ashley decided to recall her mother’s story. “I’m here because I am my beloved mother’s daughter and on the day she died, which will be the two-year anniversary in one week, the disease of mental illness was lying to her and with great terror convinced her that it would never get better.”

[RELATED: Sisters Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd See Their “Favorite Band” Perform During Ultimate Las Vegas Experience]

Ashley Judd Recalls Her Mother’s Troubled Past

Explaining that her mother was a “survivor of childhood and adult male sexual violence”, Ashley continued, “She also lived most of her life with an untreated and undiagnosed mental illness that lied to her and stole from her and it stole from our family, and she deserved better.” While telling her story at the White House, the actress concluded, “I’ve been in good recovery for 18 years and I’ve had a different outcome than my mother. I carry a message of hope and recovery.”

Although watching her mother’s struggles over the years, Ashley took a deep look into her own childhood when she spoke about Naomi on the Healing with David Kessler podcast. “I look back on my childhood… and there are different behavioral expressions, interactions, flights of fancy, choices that she made that I understand were an expression of the disease, and I understand that and know that she was in pain and can today understand that she was absolutely doing the best she could…”

Always loving her mother, Ashley declared, “If she could have done it differently, she would have.”

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Clinton Global Initiative)

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