The family of country music singer Naomi Judd was granted a court order Tuesday to keep her death records sealed from the public record, court documents show.
Judd’s husband, Larry Strickland, and two daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, filed for injunctive relief in Williamson County, Tennessee, to protect their family’s privacy on Monday. The filing requests that the investigation into Judd’s suicide remain private, including records that depict Judd in a “graphic manner.”
The sheriff’s office who responded to Judd’s death in April collected photo and video evidence, in addition to other documents, that if released would cause “emotional distress, pain and mental anguish.”
“Moreover, the release of these records would continue to cause the entire family pain for years to come,” the filing said.
A temporary order for relief was granted Tuesday, with an evidentiary hearing scheduled for September 12. The court ordered the county to alert anyone who requested documents connected to Judd’s death under the state’s open records law of the decision.
Judd’s daughters announced on April 30 that they lost their mother to “the disease of mental illness.” Ashley Judd later revealed the method in which Judd died by suicide.
“My mother used a firearm, so that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand we’re in a position that if we don’t say it, someone else is going to,” she said in an interview with “Good Morning America.”
Judd died a day before she and her daughter Wynonna, of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She was 76.
She had previously been outspoken regarding her battle with depression over the years. In an NBC News essay in 2017, Judd said that the mental illness left her inert for two years.
“My family — Ashley, Wynonna and Larry — were just beside themselves,” she wrote. “When you see somebody you love who is suffering so deeply, and there’s nothing you can do, it’s almost as hard on you as it is on the person suffering, especially when you love each other as much as the four of us love each other.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.