Ashley Judd Reveals Details Behind Family’s Petition Following Mom Naomi’s Death

by Caitlin Berard

On April 30, the world was shocked to learn of the death of Naomi Judd. Tragically, the country music icon had committed suicide at her home in Tennessee. Following Naomi’s death, a police investigation ensued. During this time, Ashley Judd and her family members were subjected to endless questioning and recounting of the painful experience.

And for the Judd family, this was only the start of what would be a harrowing few months. The death of Naomi Judd attracted intense national media attention, some of which circulated “misinformation” about the unspeakable tragedy.

In response to the public analyzing every aspect of Noami’s death, Ashley Judd and her family filed a petition on August 12th in a Tennessee court. With the petition, the family seeks to seal police reports and recordings made during the investigation.

In an essay published in The New York Times, Ashley Judd explained the petition and the reasoning behind it. “This profoundly intimate personal and medical information does not belong in the press, on the internet, or anywhere except in our memories,” Ashley wrote. “We ask because privacy in death is a death with more dignity.”

“Though there will be inevitable questions about our decision to assert what we believe is our legal right to protect our privacy in this specific matter, we stand united as a family and hold fast to our belief that what we said and did in the immediate aftermath of Naomi’s death should remain in the private domain,” Judd continued. “Just as it should for all families facing such devastation.”

Ashley Judd Speaks Out Against Kobe Bryant Crash Photos

In addition to providing relief for her own family, Ashley Judd hopes to spark change for all such tragedies. The actress shared that she understands the pain Vanessa Bryant went through following Kobe Bryant’s death. The widow recently won a court case over the grisly photos taken at the crash site of Kobe’s helicopter.

“We feel deep compassion for Vanessa Bryant,” Ashley Judd wrote. “And all families that have had to endure the anguish of a leaked or legal public release of the most intimate, raw details surrounding a death. The raw details are used only to feed a craven gossip economy. And as we cannot count on basic human decency, we need laws that will compel that restraint.”

Ashley Judd then expressed her hope that the world will remember her mother for her “goofy humor, glory onstage and unfailing kindness” rather than the circumstances surrounding her death.

With her petition, Ashley Judd hopes to achieve protection for all families dealing with mental health emergencies. “I hope that leaders in Washington and in state capitals will provide some basic protections for those involved in the police response to mental health emergencies,” she added. “Those emergencies are tragedies, not grist for public spectacle.”