Ashley Judd has recalled how she felt “cornered and powerless” by police officers on the day of her mother Naomi Judd’s death.
Singer/actress Naomi, who formed the country music duo The Judds with her eldest daughter Wynonna Judd, committed suicide at the age of 76 on 30 April after a long struggle with mental illness.
In an essay for The New York Times published on Wednesday, Ashley described how she “gushed answers” during four interviews investigators “insisted” she participate in on that tragic day.
“I felt cornered and powerless as law enforcement officers began questioning me while the last of my mother’s life was fading,” she remembered. “I wanted to be comforting her, telling her how she was about to see her daddy and younger brother as she ‘went away home,’ as we say in Appalachia. Instead, without it being indicated I had any choices about when, where and how to participate, I began a series of interviews that felt mandatory and imposed on me that drew me away from the precious end of my mother’s life.”
While Ashley accepts that the officers were following “outdated interview procedures and methods”, at one point, she questioned whether she was being considered a suspect in her mother’s death.
“It is now well known that law enforcement personnel should be trained in how to respond to and investigate cases involving trauma, but the men who were present left us feeling stripped of any sensitive boundary, interrogated and, in my case, as if I was a possible suspect in my mother’s suicide,” the 54-year-old continued.
Ashley and Wynonna, as well as Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland, filed a petition in a Tennessee court earlier this month asking a judge to seal police reports and recordings taken at the time of the singer’s death.
The Kiss the Girls actress noted that she decided to take action as she believes the “horror” of losing her mother will “only worsen” if the details surrounding her passing are made public.
“We ask because privacy in death is a death with more dignity. And for those left behind, privacy avoids heaping further harm upon a family that is already permanently and painfully altered,” she added.
– Cover Media