The High Crimes actress, 54, opened up about “the most shattering day of my life” in a harrowing essay for The New York Times, during which she shared that she found her mother in her dying moments after taking her own life.
“My beloved mother, Naomi Judd, who had come to believe that her mental illness would only get worse, never better, took her own life that day,” Ashley wrote. “The trauma of discovering and then holding her laboring body haunts my nights.”
But instead of being able to be with her mom as she took her last breaths, Ashley said she was bombarded with interviews that “felt mandatory and imposed on me” from the local police.
“I felt cornered and powerless as law enforcement officers began questioning me while the last of my mother’s life was fading,” she wrote. “I wanted to be comforting her, telling her how she was about to see her daddy and younger brother as she ‘went away home,’ as we say in Appalachia.”