Ashley Judd is grieving the loss of mother Naomi Judd, and is opening up about the experience of discovering the late singer’s body in an op-ed for the New York Times.
According to Judd, the pain she experienced from her mother’s suicide was only made worse by the behaviour of law enforcement officials when they arrived on the scene, questioning her in a manner that made her feel like she was under “interrogation.”
“In the immediate aftermath of a life-altering tragedy, when we are in a state of acute shock, trauma, panic, and distress, the authorities show up to talk to us. Because many of us are socially conditioned to cooperate with law enforcement, we are utterly unguarded in what we say,” Judd wrote.
“I gushed answers to the many probing questions directed at me in the four interviews the police insisted I do on the very day my mother died — questions I would never have answered on any other day and questions about which I never thought to ask my own questions… Where and how will what I am sharing be stored, used, and made available to the public?” she continued.
“The raw details are used only to feed a craven gossip economy, and as we cannot count on basic human decency, we need laws that will compel that restraint,” Judd added, citing the how Vanessa Bryant was forced to “endure the anguish of a leaked or legal public release of the most intimate, raw details surrounding a death” after husband Kobe Bryant’s died in a 2020 helicopter crash.
“I want to be clear that the police were simply following terrible, outdated interview procedures and methods of interacting with family members who are in shock or trauma and that the individuals in my mother’s bedroom that harrowing day were not bad or wrong. I assume they did as they were taught,” she pointed out.
“It is now well known that law enforcement personnel should be trained in how to respond to and investigate cases involving trauma, but 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,” Judd added.
The entire op-ed can be read right here.