The Judd family spoke out on Friday (August 26) after an autopsy report confirmed Naomi Judd’s cause of death. The beloved country singer took her life with a gun on April 30, as the family previously confirmed. She was 76.
“We have always shared openly both the joys of being family as well its sorrows, too. One part of our story is that our matriarch was dogged by an unfair foe,” the family said in a statement on Friday, per the Associated Press. “She was treated for PTSD and bipolar disorder, to which millions of Americans can relate.”
The Associated Press obtained the autopsy, a public record in the state of Tennessee, which also showed prescription drugs in Naomi’s system that are used to treat the disorders. Her daughters, actress Ashley Judd and daughter and The Judds duo partner Wynonna Judd, announced on the day Naomi died that they “lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
Ashley delivered a heartbreaking interview with Good Morning America in the weeks following her mother’s death. That’s when she revealed the cause of death, explaining that the family wanted to speak “before things about the 30th of April become public without our control, whether it’s the autopsy or the exact manner of death… Otherwise, it’s obviously way too soon. And so, that’s important for us to say upfront… And I’ve thought about this so much because once I say it, it cannot be unsaid.”
A public memorial service was held for Naomi at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The emotional ceremony included powerful performances in her honor, including by Wynonna. Ashley remembered her mother, as she spoke with Good Morning America, as “an unfailingly kind, sensitive woman.” She also emphasized the mental health resources available for anyone else struggling.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide or is in emotional distress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.