HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicAshley Judd Slams ‘Irresponsible’ Media Coverage of Her Mom Naomi’s Death

Ashley Judd Slams ‘Irresponsible’ Media Coverage of Her Mom Naomi’s Death

by Clayton Edwards
Ashley Judd speaking in 2022
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Naomi Judd died by suicide on April 30, 2022. Her passing left countless fans and her peers in country music in mourning. More than that, the loss devastated her family. Since her passing Naomi’s daughters and her husband have mourned their loss while also handling all of the press that goes along with the death of a public figure. Last year, the family tried to get the records of Naomi’s death sealed. However, they didn’t succeed. Over the past week, outlets have been sharing her suicide note as well as photos of the aftermath of her death. Earlier today, Ashley Judd spoke out about those outlets.

Ashley Judd took to social media to share a statement from the family alongside some information from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The first of four slides contained a statement from the Judd and Strickland families.

Ashley Judd and Family Demand ‘Decency and Privacy’ in Joint Statement

“Our family is deeply distressed by the galling, irresponsible publication of and ongoing requests for details and images of our beloved mother and wife’s death by suicide,” the statement began. The distress stems from “the trauma and damage it does to those who view such materials and the contagion risk they pose to those who are vulnerable to self-harm.”

The statement in Ashley Judd’s post went on to criticize the outlets that shared those visceral and private images. “This so-called ‘journalism’ is merely the crudest monetization of a family’s suffering and despair and a flagrant, cynical disregard for public welfare. It is equally a deep violation of our right to a modicum of decency and privacy in death.”  

The statement that Ashley Judd shared didn’t just point out the problems with the recent coverage. It also pointed out ways media outlets could do better. “We remonstrate media to take as fact the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s guidelines on coverage of suicide both for public safety and to avoid re-traumatization of survivors of such a devastating tragedy.”

Before sharing two slides containing guidelines from the AFSP, the statement pointed out something about Naomi’s suicide note. The note reportedly says some unkind things about Wynonna Judd and Ashley and the family attempt to clear up some misconceptions. The statement points out, “The note that was left came from the complex disease of mental illness and not from her mother’s heart.”

The Judd and Strickland Families Back a New Privacy Bill

Ashley Judd and the rest of the family are hoping to enact real change after Namoi’s death. The family’s statement ends with, “We hope the public and elected officials now see, with us, the keen importance of strengthening and changing state privacy laws so that police reports in the event of death by suicide are not, in fact, public record. The consequence of the law as it is presently serves only the craven gossip economy and has no public value or good.”

The final slide of Ashley Judd’s post gives some information about Tennessee Senate Bill 9. The bill will limit access to the death records and investigation of those who die by suicide or natural causes. “If passed, this bill will give Tennessee families the privacy they deserve without having to fight for it,” the statement reads.

You’re not alone. If you’re in danger of self-harm or worse, you can contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or text TALK to 741741.