Autopsy Report Reveals Cause of Death for Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd died by suicide with a firearm, as her family had previously indicated
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2022 9:50 AM CDT
Updated Aug 27, 2022 6:00 AM CDT
Ashley Judd Reveals Details of Mom's Death
Naomi Judd performs at the CMA music festival in Nashville, Tenn., on June 13, 2009.   (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)

Update: In a confirmation of what Naomi Judd's family has told the public, a newly released autopsy report indicates she killed herself with a firearm, per the AP. The report, which is considered public record in Tennessee, also showed multiple prescription drugs in her system used to treat various mental-health conditions. "We have always shared openly both the joys of being family as well its sorrows, too," a Friday statement from the country star's family noted. "One part of our story is that our matriarch was dogged by an unfair foe. She was treated for PTSD and bipolar disorder, to which millions of Americans can relate." The autopsy report also revealed that Judd left a suicide note behind, per The Blast. Our original story from May 12 follows:

Ashley Judd was the one to find her mother, country singer Naomi Judd, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the actress revealed Thursday. Judd said she visited her mother on April 30, as she did every day. "Mom said to me, 'Will you stay with me?' And I said, 'Of course I will,'" she told Diane Sawyer in an interview aired on Good Morning America. She said she later went outside to greet a friend of her mother's. "I went upstairs to let her know that the friend was there and I discovered her," she said, adding Naomi "used a firearm." "That's the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but ... if we don't say it, someone else is going to," Judd noted. "Although grieving the loss of a wife and a mother, we are, in an uncanny way, a public family."

She said her mother "couldn't hang on until she was inducted into the [Country Music] Hall of Fame by her peers" the following day because "the regard in which they held her couldn't penetrate into her heart," per People. But "when we're talking about mental illness, it's very important ... to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease," which is "savage," she said. She added her mother was "a star," "an underrated songwriter," "a brilliant conversationalist," and "an unfailingly kind, sensitive woman" who cared deeply about others, who were sometimes surprised with a $100 bill pulled from Naomi's bra. Ashley Judd urged anyone in crisis to reach out for help. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by texting STRENGTH to 741741. (More Naomi Judd stories.)

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