Naomi Judd, matriarch of country music duo The Judds, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound a day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, her family announced Thursday.
Judd, 76, suffered from a mental illness, an illness that tells victims, “You’re not loved, you’re not enough, you’re not worthy,” her daughter Ashley Judd said in an interview aired on ABC’s Good Morning America” was aired.
“Our mother couldn’t hold out until her peers inducted her into the Hall of Fame. That was the level of disaster that was going on inside her,” said Ashley Judd, a 54-year-old actress.
“She used a gun. Mom used a firearm,” she said of the death, which was announced on April 30.
Ashley Judd said she disclosed the cause of death in a TV interview to keep “control” over the information before it was made public, possibly through leaks about Judd’s autopsy.
The family’s revelation followed news that the number of firearm-related deaths in the United States during the pandemic had risen to its highest level since 1994. Firearm suicides — the leading cause of firearm-related deaths — totaled 24,245 in 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report released Tuesday.
Naomi and her daughter Wynonna Judd, 57, formed The Judds, the singing and guitar duo who were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1.
It was Ashley Judd who found her mother’s body just minutes after they hugged during a visit to her mother’s home in Tennessee. Ashley Judd said she went outside to meet up with a friend and when she got back inside she found her mum upstairs.
“I have both grief and trauma,” Ashley Judd said upon discovering the body.
The family urged anyone with suicidal thoughts to get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
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