Singer Naomi Judd reportedly died by suicide a day before she was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Judd, one half of the iconic country music duo The Judds, was struggling with mental illness for years and is said to have killed herself on Saturday, according to insiders.
It is not known how she took her life. In a statement released on Saturday, Naomi's daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, said their mother died from "the disease of mental illness." However, it has now been revealed that the actual cause of her death was suicide, which resulted from the mental illness she was struggling with for years.
Death of a Legend
Wynonna and Ashley Judd shared a heartbreaking statement on social media on Saturday, announcing their mother's death at the age of 76. However, on Monday, a representative for Judd told Fox News Digital: "There is an investigation by law enforcement and the coroner's office."
This comes after multiple sources told People that Judd died by suicide. No further details were provided. Larry Strickland, her husband of 32 years, broke his silence on Monday and spoke about the "heartbreaking moment" the family is going through.
Following Judd's death, Wynonna and Ashley shared a statement that read: "Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. 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."
Strickland also released a statement on Monday. "Naomi Judd's family request privacy during this heartbreaking time. No additional information will be released at this time," the statement read.
However, her death is now being investigated following reports that she committed suicide. In a statement to Us Weekly on Monday, Public Information Officer Williamson said, "It's an open investigation, currently we are not releasing any reports, 911 calls or bodycam or dashcam footage. This is a death investigation which is ongoing. There is no police jurisdiction in that area, so only the sheriff's department attended. We are awaiting information from the detectives from the criminal investigation division."
Fighting a Difficult Battle
A day later after her death, Naomi Judd and Wynonna, 57, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"I didn't prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably talk the most," a tearful Wynonna told the audience at the event. "I'm gonna make this fast, because my heart's broken, and I feel so blessed. It's a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed."
"I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today," a crying Ashley said, adding, "While this is so much about the Judds as a duo, I want to take a moment to recognize my sister, a GOAT."
Judd had written extensively about her depression, and in an open letter published in People magazine in 2018, she even mentioned suicide.
"For everyone mourning the death of someone who committed suicide, an inevitable question arises: Why did this happen? Unfortunately, we don't have very good answers," she had written.
"We do know that suicidal behavior accompanies many behavioral brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Suicide is actually one of the leading causes of preventable death among these mental illnesses."
Judd had earlier also mentioned that she had undergone electro-shock therapy and that she considered suicide. She admitted to the Today Show in 2017 that after The Judds' tour ended, she sat on the couch for two years, suffering from "intense" and "serious" despair.
"[Fans] see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am," she said. "But then I would come home and not leave the house for three weeks, and not get out of my pajamas, and not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad. When I came off the tour I went into this deep, dark absolutely terrifying hole and I couldn't get out," she added. "I spent two years on my couch."
She even scouted a bridge near her family's property to jump from, she had told.