A judge has sealed the release of Naomi Judd’s ‘graphic’ suicide photos after her daughters Ashley, Wynonna, and her widower, Larry Strickland, said making the sheriff’s records available would cause them ‘pain.’
The country superstar died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in April 2022 at the age of 76 – and now her family has filed for injunctive relief in Williamson County, Tennessee, to keep the investigation records into her death closed.
This follows revelations that Ashley, 54, and Wynonna, 58 – the other half of singing duo The Judds – were not included in their mother’s will after she passed away earlier this year.
The temporary order to ban the ‘graphic’ records, including photos, videos, and written documents, being put on public record, was granted on Tuesday.
According to documents seen by Fox News, the records ‘include photographs, video recordings, audio recordings, and written reports.’
Naomi Judd pictured with her daughter Wynonna pictured backstage at the 2022 CMT Music Awards, just days before Naomi’s tragic suicide. A judge has now granted a temporary ban on releasing the investigative documents into her death, some of which were said to be ‘graphic’
Larry Strickland, Ashley Judd, and Wynonna Judd speak onstage after Naomi’s celebration ‘A River Of Time’ at Ryman Auditorium on May 15, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. The family have now asked for the photos and documents surrounding their mother’s suicide to be kept from the public record
This was one of Naomi Judd’s final appearances in public before her death on April 30, 2022. She is pictured waving at crowds at the CMT Music Awards on April 11, 2022
But some of these records collected when investigating her death ‘contain Mrs. Judd depicted in a graphic manner.’
The order stated that if the records surrounding the country singer’s death were made public, her family would ‘suffer irreparable harm in the form of emotional distress, pain and mental anguish.’
It noted that the ‘entire family’ would feel pain for ‘years to come’ if the information was put on public record.
The order will be discussed in an evidentiary hearing on September 12.
Two weeks before her shocking death, Naomi stood on stage with Wynonna in a surprise reunion at the Country Music Awards in April 2022.
They sang a powerful song of reconciliation, written by Naomi – ‘Love Can Build A Bridge’ in what was her last public appearance before her suicide.
The Judds were the most successful country singers of the 80s, winning five Grammys, nine CMAs, and selling 20million records.
This comes after details of Naomi’s will were recently brought to the surface – as the late country singer named her husband, Larry, as executor of her $25million fortune.
And according to sources, it caused discontent among the family.
Elder daughter Wynonna, 58, plans to contest her mother’s will, which made no provision for her or her half-sister Ashley, 54.
Wynonna’s decision to push back at her mother’s wishes was driven by a deep-seated sense of injustice and simmering discord that has plagued the family for decades.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, the source revealed that Ashley has sided with Strickland over her mother’s decision.
Elder daughter Wynonna, 58, is now grappling with her mother’s decision to exclude her from her will and instead leave her $25million fortune to husband Larry Strickland – despite building a successful music career together
‘Ashley Judd has no problem with her late mother Naomi leaving her entire $25million fortune to her second husband Larry Strickland,’ the insider said.
‘With Ashley it’s never really been about the money. She has a net worth of some $14million but lives a relatively simple life.’
In contrast, the source added, the ‘finances are near and dear,’ to Wynonna, who has long had a troubled relationship with money, spending habits, and with her mother whom she called, ‘my beloved enemy.’
In the immediate aftermath of their mother’s death Ashley and Wynonna supported each other in their loss, attending her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, May 1, the day after their mother’s suicide.
But the sisters’ united front was allegedly short-lived. The source said, ‘[At first] Ashley and Wynonna really leaned on each other in their grief over Naomi’s death, but you knew it was only a matter of time before their ages-old sisterly issues would resurface.’
Naomi and Wynonna pictured in their heyday. A source close to Wynonna alleged the singer is angry she was excluded from Naomi Judd’s will and ‘believes she was a major force behind her mother’s success. The duo were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame one day after Judd’s death was announced
According to insiders, Wynonna feels entitled to a ‘piece of the pie’ as the ‘lead singer’ of The Judds and for taking Naomi from working as a nurse in Nashville to being a global star
Naomi had a tumultuous upbringing – and in part she attributed her depression to the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of an uncle when she was just three.
When she was 22, Naomi was raped and beaten by an ex-boyfriend, a trauma that saw her flee Los Angeles for rural Kentucky, where she lived with her children on welfare while training to become a nurse.
They lived in a home with no electricity, phone, television or indoor plumbing.
Naomi moved to Nashville when she qualified and ultimately became head nurse in an intensive care unit.
It was there that she learned a patient’s father was in the music industry. She made a tape of herself singing with Wynonna, gave it to him and ‘The Judds’ career in music was launched.
On May 29, one month after her mother’s death, Wynonna wrote an emotional Instagram post in which she spoke of her unbearable grief and her fear that she would never be able to ‘surrender to the truth’ of the way her mother left this life.
She wrote about ‘personal healing,’ her sense of being ‘helpless’ and the few things she knew in the face of such despair and drama.
She said she would continue to fight for her faith, herself and her family, to continue to ‘show up & sing.’
And she vowed to ‘break the cycle’ of addiction and dysfunction that has stalked the Judd women and, with Grace’s incarceration, threatens to tumble into yet another generation.