HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicAshley Judd Discloses Naomi Judd’s Cause of Death Was Self-Inflicted Firearm Wound in ‘Good Morning America’ Interview

Ashley Judd Discloses Naomi Judd’s Cause of Death Was Self-Inflicted Firearm Wound in ‘Good Morning America’ Interview

by TK Sanders
(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Late country music icon Naomi Judd died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, her daughter, Ashley Judd, revealed early Thursday morning in an interview. The actress and sister to Wynonna Judd spoke to ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a privately taped interview for Good Morning America. The interview centered on Naomi’s death, and how the family has coped in the weeks since.

Speaking in her private home in Tennessee, Ashley said her family wanted to control the flow of information surrounding her mother Naomi Judd’s cause of death before a coroner released any autopsy results.

“She used a weapon…a firearm,” Judd told Sawyer. “So that’s the piece of information we’re very uncomfortable sharing.”

In a statement released by Ashley and Wynonna immediately following their mother’s death, the sisters attributed her death to “the disease of mental illness.”

In the GMA interview, Ashley said that her family strongly encouraged her to speak on their collective behalf. She said she wants to openly discuss the disease of mental illness and shine light onto the path of anyone who currently struggles with depression or suicidal thoughts.

“When you’re talking about mental illness, it’s important to distinguish between the loved one and the disease,” Ashley said. “My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home.”

Naomi Judd’s cause of death was really mental illness

Ashley poignantly described the severe grip that mental illness held over her mother in her final days. She said that not even the impending adulation of the Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony could loosen the grip of torment her mother felt daily.

“Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the hall of fame by her peers,” she 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.”

At The Judds’ Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Ashley described some childhood memories of growing up in a musically-inclined family.

“I know that we’re talking a lot about Mom tonight, as we should be,” Ashley Judd said. “The newspapers don’t get much right these days, but when the Los Angeles Times said you [Wynonna] were ‘Elvis-like,’ they got it right. And I love you, and I’m proud of you. And Mom is proud of you, and she always was.”

When Wynonna accepted induction into the Hall of Fame on behalf of The Judds, she spoke frankly about the mix of emotions she felt on stage.

“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew Mom would probably talk the most,” Wynonna told audience. “I’m going to make this fast because my heart’s broken. But I feel so blessed, and it’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed.”