Ashley Judd felt "cornered and powerless" as her mother lay dying in her arms.
The 54-year-old actress lost her mother - who was part of music duo The Judds with her other daughter Wynonna - when she took her own life at the age of 76 back in April 2022 and has now opened up about the "trauma" of being questioned by law enforcement immediately afterward.
She said: "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. The trauma of discovering and then holding her laboring body haunts my nights. "I felt cornered and powerless as law enforcement officers began questioning me while the last of my mother's life was fading. 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."
The 'Missing' star went on to explain that since her mother's death, she and the rest of her family have filed a petition with the courts to prevent "profoundly intimate personal and medical information" being disclosed in the press and ultimately cause further hurt to a family who have already been "painfully altered" by the tragic events.
Writing in the New York Times, she added: "At the beginning of August, my family and I filed a petition with the courts to prevent the public disclosure of the investigative file, including interviews the police conducted with us at a time when we were at our most vulnerable and least able to grasp that what we shared so freely that day could enter the public domain. This profoundly intimate personal and medical information does not belong in the press, on the internet or anywhere except in our memories.
"We have asked the court to not release these documents not because we have secrets. We have always been an uncannily open family, which explains part of the public’s love for my mother. Folks identified with her honesty about her mistakes admired her for her ability to survive hardship and delighted in her improbable stardom.
"We ask because privacy in death is a death with more dignity. And for those left behind, privacy avoids heaping further harm upon a family that is already permanently and painfully altered."