Judds Control Rumors by Revealing Naomi Judd’s Cause of Death

Amid speculation by the public, inquiries by the media, and a continuing investigation by authorities, the family of deceased country music legend Naomi Judd has revealed that she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound when she passed away on April 30th at the age of 76. They previously had only revealed that she had passed away due to “the disease of mental illness.”

Speaking with Diane Sawyer of Good Morning America on Thursday morning (5-12), daughter Ashley Judd said, “She used a weapon…my mother used a firearm. 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.”

The incident happened the day before The Judds were to be formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. With the family’s blessing, the ceremony went forward as planned, with Ashley speaking along with her sister and 2nd half of The Judds, Wynonna.

Ashley went on to tell Diane Sawyer, “Our mother 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.”

Though the family is convinced the death was due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound, it is important to note that the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department has still not ruled on a cause of death, and is waiting for a conclusive medical examiner’s report before making any determinations.

“We don’t have anything more to release than what we’ve already said, which is that this is a death investigation, simply because we’re waiting for the results from the medical examiner,” Williamson County public information officer Sharon Puckett tells Saving Country Music. “That is just the way we do business. Unless we have something confirmed, we’re not going to speculate. That’s just where we are.”

Williamson County is also were country legend Tom T. Hall died. Hall passed away on August 21st, 2021, but it wasn’t confirmed until months after that he had passed away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound as well. It can often take six weeks or longer for autopsy reports to be finalized due to toxicology and other tests.

Last week, People Magazine reported that Naomi had died of suicide, and numerous other outlets picked up on the news. However, neither local authorities, nor the family or representatives would confirm the information at that time, and it came from unnamed sources.

Ashley Judd went on to say of discovering her mother, “It was a mixed day. I visit with my mom and pop every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was at the house visiting as I am every day. Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will.’…I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”

Naomi Judd was open about her struggles with mental illness, and that she harbored thoughts of suicide. By revealing her cause of death, the Judd family is not only hoping to stay in control of the narrative about their mother, but to raise awareness about the nature of the suffering mental illness can cause.

“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home,” Ashley told Diane Sawyer. “When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real, and it lies, it’s savage.”

© 2023 Saving Country Music