NASHVILLE, Tn. — Ashley Judd, the youngest daughter of singer Naomi Judd, announced in an interview with Diane Sawyer, that her mother died from a self-inflicted firearm wound. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ashley Judd confirmed her mother, Naomi, died of suicide

  • Judd spoke to Diane Sawyer and said her mother died from a "firearm wound"

  • Naomi Judd died a day before she and her daughter Wynonna were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame

  • Ashley Judd said the family wanted to release her mother's cause of death before it was made public in another way

Judd said in the interview that aired on “Good Morning America",” that the family wanted the world to hear how the Judd matriarch died.

“She used a weapon,” Ashley Judd said. “A firearm. So that’s the piece of information we are very uncomfortable sharing.”

On April 30, Ashley and her sister, Wynonna, announced they lost their mother “to the disease of mental illness.” She was 76.

Judd said the family was reluctant to share the news about how her mother died, but the family didn’t want it to become public in another way. She told Sawyer in the interview that she actually found her mother, who had been outspoken about her battle with depression.

“I have both grief and trauma from discovering her,” said Judd, who began the interview by thanking everyone for the support she and her family have received in the wake of their grief.

Ashley Judd said she and her family wanted to shed light on mental illness, explaining that it is “important to make the distinction between the loved one and the disease.”

Naomi Judd was open about her health struggles, as well as severe depression and anxiety. In her memoir, “River of Time,” she described her diagnosis of hepatitis C, which she said she unknowingly contracted during her time as a nurse. She said that by 1995, her doctors had told her she was completely free of the virus.

In the memoir, she described feeling like she had lost her identity when she returned home after a 2010 reunion tour, isolating herself at her home and dealing with crippling panic attacks. She also said that she had been dealing with trauma from childhood sexual abuse. She was admitted to a psychiatric ward at a hospital and spent time in an outpatient treatment program.

Naomi Judd died the day before she and Wynonna, who were the country music duo The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Judds released six studio albums and an EP between 1984 and 1991 and won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven from the Academy of Country Music. They earned a total of five Grammy Awards together on hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give a Little Love,” and Naomi earned a sixth Grammy for writing “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

The Judd sisters appeared at the induction ceremony to accept the honor. Ashley Judd said her mother “couldn’t hang on” to be recognized by her peers.

“That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her,” Judd said. “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.”

CMT plans to air a televised memorial for Naomi Judd commercial-free special at 6 p.m. EST on Sunday. The celebration of life will take place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.