Ashley Judd: I Was Sexually Abused Repeatedly As A Child & Almost Killed Myself

Tue, April 5, 2011 10:29am EST by 16 Comments

The actress says ongoing molestation during her traumatic childhood made her think about suicide — and that her country star mother Naomi and sister Wyonna weren’t there to help her!

Ashley Judd seemed to soar effortlessly to the top ranks of Hollywood actresses — but she was haunted by dark family secrets stemming from her girlhood exposure to abuse, neglect and drug-ravaged adults, she writes in All That Is Bitter & Sweet, her shocking new book.

The star of Double Jeopardy, Kiss The Girls and Tooth Fairy says she felt unloved and unwanted as her mother Naomi Judd and sister Wyonna hit on the road to build their country-music career. That left her suffering from depression as a little girl.

“My mother, while she was transforming herself into the country legend Naomi Judd, created an origin myth for the Judds that did not match my reality,” Ashley, 42, writes, according to excerpts obtained by

Ashley joins the ranks of celebrities like Cheryl Burke of Dancing With The Stars and Pattie Mallete, Justin Bieber‘s mom, in telling their stories of surviving childhood sexual abuse.

Ashley’s parents divorced when she was just 4, and she says Naomi’s fights with boyfriends left her traumatized — especially when she saw Naomi pull a gun on a man. Ashley writes that she once loaded the gun herself, gave the chamber a spin and put it to her head!

One man who moved in with them was an “abusive full-blown heroin addict with a criminal record.” Ashley says that the chaotic atmosphere at home exposed her inappropriately to sexuality — and led to her being abused repeatedly. She writes that she was an incest victim but does not name her abuser.

Ashley also recounts being pulled into the dark corner of a pizza place by “an old man everyone knew” who then “offered me a quarter for the pinball machine at the pizza place if I’d sit on his lap. He opened his arms, I climbed up, and I was shocked when he suddenly cinched his arms around me, squeezing me and smothering my mouth with his, jabbing his tongue deep into my mouth.”

After winning a high-school beauty contest, Ashley was given a two-month teen modeling contract in  Japan. What she hoped would be an escape from her horrific life turned into part of the continuing nightmare. One manager on the trip made sexual advances and a male model attempted to force her to perform oral sex. A Frenchman who gave her a ride tried to rape her in his car.

Now happily married to race-car driver Dario Franchitti, Ashley says she uncovered repressed memories after extensive therapy.

Naomi and Wyonna are preparing to star in a reality series on the Oprah Winfrey Network, starting April 10. The Judds will follow them on their final tour.

During a press conference to promote the show, Naomi told reporters she’s “only read the first couple” of chapters of Ashlely’s book. “As a mom, I want to honor her reality. I want to know my daughter,” she said, adding, “everybody’s going to have a different reality.”

– John Mancini

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Posted at 8:17 PM on September 7, 2012  

iza joo……

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Posted at 1:12 PM on June 9, 2012  

I would SOOOO molest Ashley Judd.

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Posted at 3:56 AM on November 5, 2013  

Tacky dude, seriously.

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Posted at 12:30 AM on April 18, 2012  

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Posted at 12:35 PM on February 17, 2012  

Why dosen’t she adopt a child that’s been through what she has and help them. That might help them both. She seems like she would be a great mom.

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Posted at 11:50 PM on December 1, 2011  

Wow I did not know that she suffered these offenses, how many more are out there.? It’s disgusting, and so terminally sad.

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Posted at 7:57 PM on April 11, 2011  

Naomi Judd is rediculous. She has always seemed to thrive on “outshining” her daughter Wynona. When W was the largest, here is Naomi out in front, little girl full skirts and belt cinched tight, doing all she could to make poor old frumpy Wyonona look that much the worse. She has belittled her, rediculed her, tried to outshine her and lied, lied, lied. Poor Ashley was totally left out all the way around. Naomi is a piece of crap Mother, she needs to just retire ONCE AND FOR ALL, hang it up, go home and watch her old videos and stay quiet and out of the spotlight. I cannot stand to see her or hear her or even READ anything about her. I feel sad for both of her daughters.

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Posted at 3:38 PM on April 9, 2011  

I am so proud that Ashley does not keep secrets hidden in the closet as with my family…I feel my family treated the molestor better then i the molested….Insest is the worst to face.The family seems to let them come and go and never face the reality of what has happened to the victim..Leaves us feeling like it was all our faults…Just remember Ashley that prayer is #1 I prayed for peace from this and God answered mine. I know everytime i saw that person they had to remember what they did to me!…with love (jen).

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Posted at 10:56 PM on April 8, 2011  

I am sorry Ashley I didn’t mean it i was just drunk and horny on that nite- your truly,
your unnamed incest suspect

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Posted at 12:59 AM on April 6, 2011  

The mother was young when she had the first daughter. The two girls have two different fathers. The mother needs help, I would never tour with her.

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Posted at 10:29 PM on April 5, 2011  

@Charlotte: I have to agree here. While it is very sad what Ashley has gone through. 1 out 4 young girls will be molested by someone they know. Once again the Judds are revealing another ugly family secret. It’s too much. I don’t even want to hear the gory details. If it’s not Wynonna, it’s Naomi. I don’t blame Naomi but why did she take in so many wayward men into her life knowing she had two young beautiful daughters? It’s like inviting wolves into your house & feeding them – they’re predators & don’t leave. Where was this women’s common sense?

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Posted at 6:12 PM on April 5, 2011  

Wonder how many of the Gosselin Children will be writing books like this?

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Carla Morales

Posted at 5:45 PM on April 5, 2011  

I think that being abuse is really had. It brings a lot of depression to your life and if there is nobody that can help you, or you just feel like you cant tell anybody suicide dose come to mind.

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Posted at 11:57 AM on April 5, 2011  

I never understood how The Judds could be so blatant in their treatment of Ashley. She was completely left out of the equation. What kind of a mother would so outrageously favor one child over the other? I guess Naomi saw Wynonna as her meal ticket. Look how messed up Wynona is, now…drunken arrests, her man molested her children. Naomi should be ashamed of herself. Dragging these two girls up through the gutter while she hooked up with any sleazy man she could find. Disgusting. I love you, Ashley. You rose above them all, and are a true inspiration. Keep shining your light.

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