Tuesday, 17 May 2022
BusinessSinger Naomi Judd shot herself dead, family confirms

Singer Naomi Judd shot herself dead, family confirms

American singer Naomi Judd, a member of Grammy-winning country stars The Judds, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound just a day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, her family confirmed on Thursday.

Judd, 76, suffered from mental illness, a disease that tells victims “you are not loved, you are not enough, that you are not worthy,” her daughter Ashley Judd said in an interview aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Naomi Judd (L), and Wynonna Judd, of The Judds, performing at the “Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country,” in Las Vegas, April 4, 2011. (AP)

“Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers. That was the level of disaster that was going on inside of her,” Ashley Judd, a 54-year-old actor, said.

“She used a weapon. Mother used a firearm,” she said of the death, which was announced on April 30.

Ashley Judd said she was disclosing the cause of death in a televised interview to maintain “control” over the information before it became public, possibly through leaks about Judd’s autopsy.

The family’s revelation followed the news that the rate of US gun deaths surged during the pandemic to the highest point since 1994. Gun suicides – the leading cause of gun deaths – totaled 24,245 in 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report published on Tuesday.

Naomi Judd (L) and Ashley Judd arrive at the LA premiere of 'Olympus Has Fallen' in Los Angeles on March 18, 2013. (AP)
Naomi Judd (L) and Ashley Judd arrive at the LA premiere of “Olympus Has Fallen” in Los Angeles on March 18, 2013. (AP)

Naomi and her daughter Wynonna Judd, 57, made up The Judds, the singing, guitar-playing duo inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1.

It was Ashley Judd who found her mother’s body, just a few minutes after they had embraced during a visit to her mother’s Tennessee home. Ashley Judd said she stepped outside to meet a friend and when she came back inside and found her mother upstairs.

“I have both grief and trauma” from discovering the body, Ashley Judd said.

The family urged anyone having suicidal thoughts to reach out for help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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