Four months after the tragic death of singer Naomi Judd, her daughter, Ashley Judd, is opening up about her mother's passing like never before.
In an essay for The New York Times' opinion section, the star spoke candidly of the moments right after her mother's death, the aftermath, and discussed what it was like to mourn something so heartbreaking, so publicly.
The late singer died by suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 30 April. She was 76-years-old, and had long been struggling with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
WATCH: The Judds perform live at the 2022 CMT Awards
In the essay, which is titled The Right to Keep Private Pain Private, Ashley reveals the shocking details of "the most shattering day of my life," detailing the moment she discovered her mother's body. She said: "The trauma of discovering and then holding her laboring body haunts my nights."
Of her mother's mental illness, she said: "Naomi lost a long battle against an unrelenting foe that in the end was too powerful to be defeated. I could not help her."
The actress explained that the public nature of her family's life further added to the trauma she faced, stating that: "As my family and I continue to mourn our loss, the rampant and cruel misinformation that has spread about her death, and about our relationships with her, stalks my days."
Naomi's life was celebrated on 15 May in Tennessee
Ashley heavily criticized not only the invasion of privacy she felt she experienced, but the mishandling of her mother's case at the hands of the police investigating the death. "I felt cornered and powerless as law enforcement officers began questioning me while the last of my mother’s life was fading," she admitted.
She further added: "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."
Ashley and her sister Wynonna honored their mother's life during a television special titled Naomi Judd: 'A River Of Time'
At the beginning of August, Ashley and her sister Wynonna were questioned and criticized by many for filing a petition with the courts "to prevent the public disclosure of the investigative file, including interviews the police conducted with us at a time when we were at our most vulnerable."
In the essay, while she acknowledged there would be doubts about their decision, she maintained they believe it is their "legal right to protect our privacy in this specific matter."
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