This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Ashley Judd on Wednesday reportedly said grief-associated clumsiness led to her fracturing her leg earlier this year after the death of her mother.
The “Double Jeopardy” actress, 54, said during a conversation series in association with UCLA’s Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior that the “freak accident” fractured her femoral condyle near the knee last summer just months after her mom Naomi Judd, 76, died by suicide, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Judd has said she was the one who found her mother on April 30 at the country music star’s Tennessee home.
The actress said her leg injury was not serious and healed in “two months, lickety-split” and actually made her pause to grieve.
“It was what it was,” she said. “Clumsiness is associated with grief, and there were other people in our family, after mom died, who fell down stairs and had accidents, and that’s just what mine happened to look like. It really allowed me to grieve. It really allowed me to stop what I was working on at that moment and to grieve.”
Two years ago, the “High Crimes” star suffered a far more serious injury when she tripped over a fallen tree while hiking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, shattering her leg in four places.
She also talked about how her friends helped her through the first days after her mother’s death.
“The day that my beloved mother died by suicide, I had so many people to call,” she said while speaking via Zoom at her “mom and pop’s” house in the same room as her mother’s husband of 33 years, Larry Strickland. “There were five women who were with me within moments of my sharing that tragic news with them, and they are my chosen sisters. I was just reflecting overnight. I had one of my 2 a.m. wake-ups overnight, and I was reflecting on those first days after her passing and how there was always someone with me at my house.”
She said her partner was in Europe when it happened, and he “flew to Vienna to collect Pop,” who was also in Europe, “and fly him home [because] Pop never would’ve been able to navigate that transatlantic flight by himself. That was a real blessing.”
She continued, “but my friend slept with me in the bed and held my hand all night. That’s the value of community.”
Judd said she is doing better as the six-month anniversary of her mother’s death approaches. She plans to see two Wynonna Judd’s concerts this weekend. Wynonna was supposed to tour with her mother before her death.
“I’m seeing two of the concerts this weekend, which brings up a lot of deep poignancy, both joy and sorrow,” she said.
She and Wynonna have both denied rumors they are “fighting” over their mother’s estate after being left out of her will.
“I feel like we’re connected in a way that is so different because I’m an orphan,” Wynonna told People magazine earlier this month. “Both my parents are gone, and I’m relying on Ashley. She’s relying on me in a different way that’s about compassion. It’s not about being successful and smart and capable. It’s about, ‘I love you.’ ‘I love you, too.’ We’re vulnerable with each other, and we’re tender.”
Ashley also discussed ignoring social media, which she predicted has some “vile” comments about how she gained weight as a result of her injury and her grieving.
“I’ve put on some weight, and I’m sure people are talking about it, but I don’t pay any attention to it because I know it’s a temporary condition and the weight will come off when it’s supposed to,” she said. “It’s none of my business what people think of me. It is absolutely none of my business. I have a healthy boundary about it, but I also know that misogyny is a real thing in our culture. You try being a once ultra-fit woman who’s 54 and put on some weight. That is going to spark some very sexist conversations by both men and women and others in our culture.”