Country singer Naomi Judd’s family filed a court petition Friday to seal police reports and records made during the investigation of her death, which occurred in April.
According to APthey filed the petition in Williamson County Chancery Court in Tennessee, claiming the video and audio recordings taken of relatives swiftly following Judd’s death could cause “significant trauma and irreparable harm” if they were released publicly.
The petition was filed on behalf of Larry Strickland, the singer’s husband, and her two daughters Wynonna and Ashley. The AP obtained the document with the family’s permission.
Reasons the family cited for sealing the records include their right to privacy regarding the disclosure of Judd’s medical records. The police reserve the right to hold the records during an ongoing investigation, according to Tennessee public records law.
In a statement submitted with the petition, Strickland said he was unaware that “his interviews with law enforcement were being recorded and that he shared personal and private information to help the investigation.
Ashley Judd said she was in “clinical shock, active trauma and acute distress” when she spoke with law enforcement and that she did not want those records, including video, audio and photos, to permanently stay in the public domain and haunt their family for generations.
The petition also stated that Tennessee media outlets have already filed public records requests involving Judd’s case.
Ashley Judd sat down with Diane Sawyer on “good morning america” for an emotional segment on May 12, during which she revealed that her mother used a firearm to take her own life and that she found her during a routine daily visit to her Tennessee home.
“I’m tasked with an exceedingly difficult task in disclosing the manner of the way my mother chose not to continue to live,” she said through tears. “And I’ve thought about this so much because once I say it, it can’t be unsaid. And because I don’t want it to be part of the gossip economy, I will share with you that she used a weapon. Mother used a firearm. So that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but we understand … if we don’t say it, someone else is going to.”
Wynonna shared her thoughts Saturday, May 28 in an instagram-post.
“There is so much happening in the world right now. So before I sat down to write this, I thought, ‘No…I just don’t know what to say.’ Then, I heard the words from my life coach asking me, ‘What do you know?’ And I began to cry,” she wrote.
“WHAT DO I KNOW? I DO know, that the pain of losing Mom on 4/30 to suicide is so great, that I often feel like I’m not ever going to be able to fully accept and surrender to the truth that she left the way she did. This cannot be how The Judds story ends,” Wynonna Judd continued.
The country singer was remembered in a public memorial at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday, May 15.