Ashley Judd, the daughter of famous country singer Naomi Judd who passed away last month after a long and hard-fought battle with mental illness, revealed her mother’s heartbreaking and tragic cause of death during a recent interview with Good Morning America, Radar has learned.
While speaking to ABC’s Diane Sawyer Thursday morning, Naomi’s 54-year-old daughter Ashley shockingly revealed that her mother passed away after taking her own life by way of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“She used a weapon…a firearm,” Ashley told Sawyer during Thursday’s episode of Good Morning America. “So 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.”
“When you’re talking about mental illness, it’s important to distinguish between the loved one and the disease,” Ashley continued after revealing she was only comfortable disclosing her mother’s cause of death in an effort to shed light on mental illness.
“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home,” she added.
As RadarOnline.com reported, Naomi was found dead on Saturday, April 30, at 76-years-old.
Following rumors of Naomi’s passing, the country singer’s death was officially confirmed by her daughters Ashley and Wynonna in a joint statement to the Associated Press.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement read. “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.”
Although Naomi’s death was believed to have been the result of a suspected suicide, that claim was not confirmed until Ashley’s revelation Thursday morning while speaking to Sawyer and Good Morning America.
Previously, Naomi spoke regularly about her ongoing battle with mental illness and how the disease nearly pushed her to the brink of suicide at least one time before.
"I knew exactly how I was going to carry out my suicide. I would drive my car to the very center, the highest point, and in one swift motion open the car door and climb over the railing," Naomi wrote in her enlightening albeit heartbreaking 2016 memoir River of Time. "I'd keep my focus on the beauty of the surrounding countryside, spread my arms out, and step off."
The country music superstar’s passing also took place just one day before she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame – an honor that was ultimately accepted by her two daughters in her memory and on her behalf.
“Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the hall of fame by her peers,” Ashley said Thursday morning. “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.”