Naomi Judd's Autopsy Confirms Her Death by Suicide as Family Says She 'Was Dogged by an Unfair Foe'

An autopsy report released on Friday confirms previous reports that 76-year-old Naomi Judd died by suicide.

via People:

The report, which was obtained by the Associated Press, indicates that Judd died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in her Tennessee home on April 30.

“We have always shared openly both the joys of being family as well as its sorrows, too. One part of our story is that our matriarch was dogged by an unfair foe,” the family said in a statement shared with the AP. “She was treated for PTSD and bipolar disorder, to which millions of Americans can relate.”

PEOPLE previously reported in May that Judd died by suicide following a long battle with mental illness, and the artist’s daughter Ashley Judd, 54, confirmed that her mother died using a firearm in an interview with Good Morning America.

The autopsy reportedly found in Judd’s system several prescription drugs used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder.

The findings come weeks after Ashley Judd, her sister Wynonna Judd and Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland filed a petition in Tennessee asking to seal police reports and recordings from the investigation into the country star’s death.

The petition, which was obtained by the AP, says the release of the records — which includes interviews with family members following Judd’s passing — would cause “significant trauma and irreparable harm.”

Strickland reportedly stated in the petition that he didn’t know his interviews with police were being recorded and therefore provided personal information, while Ashley said she does not want her interviews made public because she was in “clinical shock, active trauma and acute distress” at the time.

The Berlin Station actress recently opened up about her grief journey on the Healing with David Kessler podcast, and said she has learned to understand that her mother’s pain was a product of her disease.

“I look back on my childhood and I realize I grew up with a mom who had an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness,” Judd said. “And there are different behavioral expressions, interactions, flights of fancy, choices that she made that I understand were an expression of the disease and I understand that and know that she was in pain and can today understand that she was absolutely doing the best she could, and if she could have done it differently, she would have.”

Earlier in the conversation, Judd explained that something she’d learned over the years was that she “didn’t cause” her mother’s illness, “couldn’t control it” and also “couldn’t cure it.”

With that in mind, the actress said she hoped that Naomi’s death brought with it a sense of peace for the singer.

“My most ardent wish for my mother is that when she transitioned, she was hopefully able to let go of any guilt or shame that she carried for any shortcomings she may have had in her parenting of my sister and me. Because certainly on my end, all was forgiven long ago, all was forgiven long ago,” she said.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.

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