Judds asks court to seal inquest report into Naomi Judd’s death

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The family of country singer Naomi Judd filed a lawsuit Friday to seal police reports and tapes made during the investigation into her death.

The family filed the motion in Williamson County Chancery Court, saying the recordings contain video and audio interviews with loved ones immediately following Judd’s death, and that disclosure of these details would inflict “significant trauma and irreparable harm”.

The petition was filed on behalf of her husband Larry Strickland and daughters Ashley and Wynonna Judd. A representative provided it to The Associated Press with the family’s permission.

Judd, 76, died April 30 at her home in Tennessee. Her daughter Ashley has previously said her mother took her own life, and the family said she was lost to “the disease of mental illness”.

The court filing also included details of how Ashley Judd found her mother alive after taking her own life. Ashley stayed with her mother for 30 minutes until help arrived.

The petition asks the court to prohibit the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office from releasing the records for several reasons, including that the release would include his medical records and that the family has a right to privacy.

Tennessee public records law generally allows local law enforcement records to be released, but police have discretion to retain records while an investigation is ongoing. Once an investigation is closed, this exemption no longer applies. The AP left a message for the sheriff on Friday seeking comment.

Strickland, Wynonna and Ashley Judd submitted statements outlining their concerns about the records. Strickland said in the court filing that he was unaware his interviews with law enforcement were being recorded and that he shared personal and private information to help with the investigation.

Ashley Judd said she was in “clinical shock, active trauma and acute distress” when she spoke to law enforcement and did not want these recordings, including the video, l audio and photos remain permanently in the public domain and haunt their families for generations.

The petition said the Tennessee media had previously filed public records requests in her case.

Leave a Comment