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Naomi Judd: Daughter Ashley Judd opens up about cause of country music star’s death

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Ashley Judd, one of the daughters of country singer Naomi Judd, has opened up about her mother’s death in a new interview.

Judd died by suicide on 30 April, having sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to her daughter, who urged people to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) if they need help. Contact details for similar organisations in the UK and elsewhere for people who may be struggling can be found at the bottom of this page.

During an appearance on Good Morning America on Thursday (12 May), Ashley spoke with Diane Sawyer about her mother’s death.

She claimed that Judd’s cause of death was “information that [the family] are very uncomfortable sharing”, but that they wanted to get ahead of the release of information before the autopsy report became public.

Ashey said that her family had agreed she should discuss her mother’s death to help raise awareness of the cause, and the availability of help.

“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home,” she said. “When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real, and it lies, it’s savage.”

Ashley said that she is experiencing “both grief and trauma” after discovering her mother’s body.

Judd died at the age of 76, one day before she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers,” said Ashley. “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.”

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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