Ashley Judd opens up about her mom Naomi’s suicide: No ‘shame or guilt’


Ashley Judd got candid about her mother Naomi Judd’s recent suicide and how she’s trying to heal from the pain.

The “Divergent” star, 54, spoke with grief expert David Kessler on his Healing podcast Tuesday about her mental health and how she can “understand” what her mom went through.

“I look back on my childhood and I realize I grew up with a mom who had an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness,” Judd said. “And there are different behavioral expressions, interactions, flights of fancy, choices that she made that I understand were an expression of the disease.”

Judd added that she knows “that she was in pain and can today understand that she was absolutely doing the best she could.”

“If she could have done it differently, she would have,” the actress noted.

She also explained how she knew she “didn’t cause” her mother’s sickness, and she “couldn’t control it” but also “couldn’t cure it.”

“I understand that and know that she was in pain and can today understand that she was absolutely doing the best she could,” the “Frida” star said.
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Naomi died on April 30 at the age of 76 from a self-inflicted gunshot after years of battling mental health issues.

“My most ardent wish for my mother is that when she transitioned, she was hopefully able to let go of any guilt or shame that she carried for any shortcomings she may have had in her parenting of my sister and me,” the “Heat” star said. “Because certainly on my end, all was forgiven long ago, all was forgiven long ago.”

Judd’s sister, Wynonna, 58, opened up in an emotional Instagram post in May about the “pain” of losing the country music icon.

Ashley Judd, Naomi Judd and Wynonna Judd during APLA 6th Commitment to Life Concert Benefit at Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California, 1992.
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“There is so much happening in the world right now. So before I sat down to write this, I thought, ‘No…I just don’t know what to say.’ Then, I heard the words from my life coach asking me, ‘What do you know?’ And I began to cry,” Wynonna penned.

“WHAT DO I KNOW?? I DO know, that the pain of losing Mom on 4/30 to suicide is so great, that I often feel like I’m not ever going to be able to fully accept and surrender to the truth that she left the way she did. This cannot be how The Judds story ends.”

Wynonna also announced that she will continue the 11-date national tour she previously had scheduled with her mom before her untimely death.

She added: “I DO know, that in order to be a healthier grandparent to my firstborn grandchild Kaliyah, {born 4/13, 2 weeks & 2 days before Mom left}, to break the cycle of addiction & family dysfunction, that I must continue to show up for myself {first} and do the personal healing work.”