Ashley Judd revealed her mother Naomi Judd’s cause of death in an interview with Good Morning America Thursday (May 12).
The actress told Diane Sawyer that her mother, who makes up one half of the country music singing duo the Judds with other daughter Wynonna, used a weapon when she committed suicide back on April 30.
“Because [Wynonna and I] don’t want [our mother’s death] to be part of the gossip economy, I will share with you that she used a weapon; my mother used a firearm,” Judd said. “So that’s the piece of information we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that if we don’t say it, someone else is going to,” she added.
In addition, Judd revealed that she was the person who discovered her mother’s body. “I have both grief and trauma from discovering her,” she explained to Sawyer during the interview.
News of Judd’s death broke just one day before she and daughter Wynonna were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Despite Naomi’s death, the ceremony went on as planned, at the request of her family with Ashley and Wynonna accepting the honor on their late mother’s behalf.
“My mama loved you so much and she appreciated your love for her, and I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley emotionally explained to the crowd in attendance.
“Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do,” Wynonna shared when it was her time to speak.
Naomi Judd battled mental illness, including severe depression for years.
Back in 2017, the eldest Judd sat down to discuss mental illness with Robin Roberts, sharing the extent of how severe her condition was.
“What I’ve been through is extreme,” Judd said. “My final diagnosis was severe depression.”
“[People] see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am. But then I would come home and not leave the house for weeks, and not get out of my pajamas, and not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad,” she explained.
Judd’s life and career will be honored on May 15 on CMT during a commercial-free public memorial celebration called “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration.” The memorial will air at 6 p.m.