“Mother used a firearm,” Judd told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an emotional interview this morning. “That’s the piece of information that 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.”
Watch an excerpt of the interview below.
Actress Judd added, “She obviously was suffering, and, as such, her days up until that moment were hurtful to her.” She said she had been authorized by the Judd family to discuss Naomi’s death in order to spread awareness of the disease of mental illness and available treatments.
“There are some things that we would just like to retain as a family,” she said. “Both sister and Pop [Judd’s stepfather Larry Strickland] have sort of deputized me in certain ways to speak on behalf of the family at this early time before things about the 30th of April become public without our control.
“When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important and — to be clear, and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease,” she added. “It’s very real — and it’s enough to — it lies. It’s savage.”
Judd said Naomi “couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers. 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.”
The Judds, including Naomi, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1. The induction was announced last summer.
Today’s interview comes just days before a scheduled public memorial for the five-time Grammy winner, an event that will air live on CMT this Sunday. Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration is being produced by CMT and Sandbox Live in partnership with the Judd family. CMT will exclusively televise the public memorial service as a commercial-free special on Sunday, May 15th at 6 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. CT.
-Nancy Tartaglione contributed to this report
.@ashleyjudd to @dianesawyer on her late mother Naomi Judd: “Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers. I mean, that is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her.“ https://t.co/HNL2XqNE6z pic.twitter.com/Uzi7X0hUDG
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 12, 2022
If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada) and The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.