NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Ashley Judd encouraged people to seek help for their mental health and spoke about her grieving process following the loss of her mother, country star Naomi Judd..
In an interview broadcast on “Good Morning America” on Thursday, the movie star said she wanted to address her mother’s struggle with depression. Judd said he was with her mother at her home in Tennessee the day Naomi died on April 30.
Judd also encouraged anyone with thoughts of harming themselves to contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. at 1-800-273-8255.
Naomi Judd has died at the age of 76, one day before she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame with her duet partner and daughter Wynonna Judd. In a statement provided to The Associated Press, her family said she had lost her to “the disease of mental illness.”
“When we talk about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and distinguish between our loved one and the illness,” Judd said in the interview. “She reads. She’s wild. And, you know, my mom, our mom, she couldn’t take it until her peers inducted her into the Hall of Fame.. I mean, that’s the catastrophe level of what was going on inside her because the barrier between the gaze they had her in couldn’t penetrate her heart. And the lie he told about her illness was so convincing.”
Ashley Judd said her mother shot herself with a gun, but asked for privacy about other details of the death. Naomi Judd openly wrote about her depression and anxiety in her memoir “River of Time” and her daughter Ashley said that was why she cherished every moment she spent with her mother.
“I really accepted the love that my mother was able to give me because she knew I was fragile,” Judd said. “So when I walked around the back of her house and walked in the kitchen door and she said, ‘There’s my love, there’s my baby.’ And she turned on. I savored those moments.”
Naomi and Wynonna Judd scored 14 No. 1 songs in a career that spanned nearly three decades. The redheaded duo blended the traditional Appalachian sounds of bluegrass with polished pop styles, achieving hit after hit in the 1980s. Wynonna led the duo with her own powerful voice, while Naomi provided harmonies and graceful onstage looks.
The Judds released six studio albums and one EP between 1984 and 1991 and won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven Academy of Country Music Awards. Together they won a total of five Grammy Awards for hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love,” and Naomi won a sixth Grammy for writing “Love Can Build a Bridge.”