Naomi Judd Died From Self-Inflicted Firearm Wound, Daughter Ashley Tells ‘GMA’ (VIDEO)

Ashley Judd on GMA
Good Morning America

Actress Ashley Judd is opening up about the death of her mother, country music icon Naomi Judd, ahead of this Sunday’s televised memorial service.

Speaking with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, Ashley revealed that her mother died from a self-inflicted firearm wound. “She used a weapon… my mother used a firearm,” she said. “So that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that if we don’t say it, someone else is going to.”

The “Have Mercy” singer died on April 30 at the age of 75 after what the Judd family called “a disease of mental illness.” In a joint statement, Ashley and her sister Wynonna wrote, “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.”

During her appearance on Good Morning America, Ashley noted that she wanted to draw attention to the disease in hopes of helping others going through a similar situation.

“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home,” she said, adding, “When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real, and it lies, it’s savage.”

Ashley also revealed that she was the one to find her mother. ““I visit with my mom and pop every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was at the house visiting as I am every day,” she explained. “Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will.’… I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”

CMT will air Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration as a commercial-free special on May 15. The network is working closely with Ashley and Wynonna and Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland to organize the event.

Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration, Live Special, Sunday, May 15, 6/5c, CMT