Country music icon Naomi Judd left a final note before taking her own life. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, aged 76 at the time of her death, succumbed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound at her Tennessee home on April 30, 2022. The details surrounding her tragic end have now emerged, shedding light on her struggles with mental health.
The Funeral Request
Photographs obtained from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office depict the last message Naomi left, revealing a chilling plea not to have her daughter and singing partner, Wynonna, attend her funeral. The note, written on a yellow Post-It, underlines Naomi’s concern about Wynonna’s mental health, stating, “Do not let Wy come to my funeral. She’s mentally ill.”
Despite Naomi’s request, it was reported that Wynonna did attend the funeral last year, standing alongside her sister Ashley Judd at the “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration.” The images also capture what seems to be Judd’s blood-splattered bed and a gun on a bedside table, painting a haunting scene of her final moments.
Naomi’s husband, musician Larry Strickland, was away at the time of her death, and Naomi, facing the weight of her struggles, did not want to be alone. Ashley, aged 54, discovered her mother with a gunshot wound to the head, prompting an immediate call for emergency assistance.
Ashley, known for her roles in movies like “Double Jeopardy” and “Divergent,” reported witnessing her mother in a manic state just before the tragic incident. The family doctor, Dr. Ted Klontz, had attended to Naomi in her bedroom moments before the fateful act.
|April 30, 2022
|Naomi Judd tragically takes her own life at the age of 76, succumbing to a gunshot wound.
|Images allegedly from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office reveal her final note.
|The note requests that daughter Wynonna not attend her funeral, citing mental health concerns.
|A police report notes that Naomi’s husband, Larry Strickland, was away at the time.
|Ashley Judd discovers her mother with a bullet wound and calls for emergency assistance.
|The family doctor, Dr. Ted Klontz, had attended to Naomi just before the incident.
|May 15, 2022
|“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” is broadcast live from Ryman Auditorium. Wynonna attends despite her mother’s request.
|Ashley Judd opens up on “Good Morning America,” discussing her mother’s mental health struggles.
|The family files a lawsuit to prevent the public release of police images showing Naomi’s death.
|The Judd family drops the lawsuit but remains critical of potential media coverage.
|Autopsy report confirms Naomi Judd’s suicide and reveals traces of prescription medications for PTSD and bipolar disorder.
|The family releases a statement acknowledging Naomi’s struggles with mental health.
Naomi’s Mental Health Struggles
Naomi Judd was no stranger to mental health challenges, openly discussing her battle with mental health issues, including bipolar disorder. The medical examiner’s report, released recently, highlighted Naomi’s significant history of anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
The 13-page report confirmed that Naomi had contemplated suicide previously and was grappling with recent life stressors. Traces of prescription medications for major depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were found in her system, as revealed by a toxicology test.
The Family’s Grief
Following Naomi’s death, Ashley Judd spoke on “Good Morning America,” addressing the family’s grief and the challenges of disclosing the manner of her mother’s death. The Judd family opted not to comment on the apparent suicide note but filed a lawsuit to protect the privacy of Naomi’s final moments, emphasizing the need to avoid re-victimization.
Ashley expressed empathy for others who faced similar challenges and stressed the importance of distinguishing between the person and the disease when addressing mental health issues.
Legacy and Legal Battles
Naomi, in a significant move, left both her daughters out of her will, appointing her husband as the executor of her estate. The family, deeply shattered by the loss, released a statement acknowledging the tragedy and expressing compassion for others who had faced the public release of intimate details surrounding a death.
Despite dropping a lawsuit aimed at preventing the public release of police images, the Judds maintained criticism of potential media coverage surrounding their family tragedy.
Naomi Judd, born Diana Ellen Judd, began her journey as a nurse before venturing into the world of country music with daughter Wynonna. Together as “The Judds,” they achieved immense success with 14 No. 1 hits and five Grammy wins. Naomi’s struggles with mental health intensified after a hepatitis diagnosis in 1991, leading to her withdrawal from the music scene.
Her sudden death, on the eve of her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, leaves a void in the industry and serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of addressing mental health with empathy and understanding.
Yes, despite Naomi’s request to exclude her daughter Wynonna, she did attend the funeral alongside her sister Ashley Judd.
Naomi Judd took her own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at her Tennessee home on April 30, 2022, amidst struggles with mental health.
The family filed a lawsuit to protect the privacy of Naomi’s final moments but eventually dropped it. They criticized potential media coverage and emphasized the need to avoid re-victimization.