Skip to main content

Before country music icon Naomi Judd‘s death, she was candid about her relationships with each of her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd. And all three women in the famous family have been open about their healing journeys, the negative parts of fame and growing up in the public, and the treatment-resistant depression that played a part in Naomi’s death.

Read on to find out more about the “very passionate girls” and how they “kind of scared people.”

Ashley Judd, Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd are 'passionate girls'
(l-r) Ashley Judd, Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Naomi Judd did the best with what she knew while raising her daughters Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd

Naomi Judd spoke to CNN‘s Larry King about her family in 2007. She said she loved raising kids but it also was her “greatest pain.”

“… The agony and ecstasy,” she explained. “And when they’re in pain, I just — it’s just intolerable for me …”

Naomi said she sometimes felt guilty for the problems her daughters faced in their lives. But she didn’t think she was alone in that.

“I would be willing to bet my farm every mother [deals with guilt]. But you reach a point where you understand I did absolutely the best I could with what I knew and the way I was raised and with what I had,” she shared. “We were penniless, a week away from the streets every paycheck.”

The country music icon said she would have done anything to keep her daughters safe and make sure they had shoes on their feet. “I remember there were times that their toes would poke out of their old shoes,” she shared. “It was so hard and I had no emotional skills.”

She told King all that played a role in how they got along as adults. And since they were all “very passionate,” she said they “kind of scared people.”

Naomi Judd and her famous daughters could go from ‘nothing to something just like that’

Naomi Judd spoke to CNN‘s Larry King about her family in 2007. About Wynonna, she said, “… She’s still struggling with some core issues and she knows that I’m her biggest supporter.”

And regarding Ashley: “She’s definitely on a healing journey.”

Naomi thought it was important that they were all communicating and seeking help on their individual paths, something they all believed in.

“… All three of us are just so willing — it’s kind of like all three of us know that there’s nothing different or special about us,” she explained. “We just — we’re very passionate girls. We love each other but something — we can go from nothing to something just like that so we kind of scare people.”

King pointed out some fans had trouble comprehending how the famous family could “have problems,” which Naomi swatted off. “Lord have mercy, come spend a day in our house. It’s weird,” she shared.

Their relationships went through ups and downs they shared with the public, sometimes going through bouts of estrangement. But they always seemed to find their way back together.

Naomi Judd’s daughters were with her in the moments before and after her death


Why Wynonna Judd ‘Wasn’t There’ for Ashley Judd as a Sister at Times

In the years before Naomi’s death, she shared her stories about living with treatment-resistant depression that threatened her life. After she died, Ashley and Wynonna released a statement to say they lost their mother to the disease of mental illness.

Ashley later confirmed Naomi died by suicide in her home where she was visiting her at the time. Wynonna told an audience who gathered at the Country Music Hall of Fame the next day that she was also at her mother’s side soon after.

The “passionate” sisters circled around Naomi and said a prayer with their family. And in the end, as Ashley said, they walked her home.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.