Naomi Judd's tragic cause of death revealed by daughter Ashley

New York, New York - Naomi Judd fatally shot herself, her daughter Ashley revealed Thursday, less than two weeks after the country music singer was found dead at home.

Ashley Judd (pictured with Naomi r.) accepted her mother's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside her sister Wynonna, just one day after the singer's death (l.).
Ashley Judd (pictured with Naomi r.) accepted her mother's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside her sister Wynonna, just one day after the singer's death (l.).  © Collage: Terry Wyatt & FREDERICK M. BROWN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The 76-year-old died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Ashley Judd told Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, saying she and her family didn’t want to share the private details but knew that they would come out eventually.

So instead, she’s using her grief to bring awareness to mental illness to help others.

"My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home," the actor said.

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"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."

In their initial statement after Judd’s April 30 death, Ashley and sister Wynonna attributed their mother’s loss to "the disease of mental illness."

A day after the singer’s death, she and Wynonna were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as The Judds, a tearful ceremony that included musical tributes from Brandi Carlile, Carly Pearce, Tommy Simms, and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.

"Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers," Ashley Judd said Thursday. "That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her, because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart and the lie the disease told her was so convincing."

Country Music Television will air a live public memorial service, Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration, at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday, the network announced earlier this week.

If you or someone you know need help, please contact the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for free and confidential support.

Cover photo: Collage: Terry Wyatt & FREDERICK M. BROWN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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