Naomi Judd's Autopsy Report Tells Tragic Story Of Her Death

On April 30, the entertainment world was left devastated by the tragic death of music legend Naomi Judd. At the time of her death, the beloved singer was 76 years old. In a statement posted to Instagram, the singer's daughter Ashley Judd revealed that her mother succumbed to her long-term struggle with mental illness. "Today, we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," Ashley wrote. "We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public."

Before her unexpected passing, the "Why Not Me" singer and her eldest daughter and long-time collaborator Wynonna Judd were set to perform on a sold-out U.S. tour, according to Rolling Stone. In addition to Ashely's statement, Naomi's husband, Larry Strickland, informed fans that "no additional information" would be released regarding her death. "Naomi Judd's family request privacy during this heartbreaking time," he added.

In the months since Naomi's death, fans have remained in the dark regarding the exact cause of the country icon's death... until now.

Naomi Judd's death officially ruled a suicide

Since Naomi Judd died, fans have waited patiently to learn the truth behind the beloved superstar's death. At the time of her passing, the singer's daughters, Ashley and Wynonna Judd, revealed that their mother lost her battle with mental illness. But, on August 26, a Nashville medical examiner's office officially released Naomi's autopsy report to the public. Initially obtained by the Associated Press, the documents confirmed that Naomi died by suicide. "She had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and was transported to Williamson Medical Center where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival," the report stated (via Page Six).

In a statement following the devastating report, the Judd family gave further insight into Naomi's health struggles. "We have always shared openly both the joys of being a family as well its sorrows, too. One part of our story is that our matriarch was dogged by an unfair foe," they said. "She was treated for PTSD and bipolar disorder, to which millions of Americans can relate."

Prior to her death, Naomi had remained an open book about her mental health journey. In a 2017 letter to NBC News, the "Love Can Build A Bridge" singer said that her past trauma contributed to her long battle with depression and anxiety. "Depression is partly genetic, and I have it on both sides of my family," Naomi said. But, even though she dealt with her own ups and downs, Naomi always remained a fierce supporter of others struggling with depression until the end.

Treatment often came with a price

Naomi Judd detailed her experience with mental illness in her 2016 memoir, "River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope," in which she described the "boulder-like weight of my severe treatment-resistant depression and terrifying panic attacks" (via USA Today). Naomi revealed that her harrowing condition once prevented her from leaving her couch "for two years," and told Savannah Guthrie of "Today" that depression left her immobile at times.

According to Naomi, medications used to treat her condition often came with severe side-effects. "My face is swollen. I don't have any hair. My right hand shakes real bad from lithium. I look horrible. But I can't be anything else after what I've gone through," she told People in 2016, adding that she wore a wig as a result of her hair loss. Throughout all her struggles, Naomi remained proactive about treating her illness. "I try to get out and be around people. I'll go to Kroger or Bed Bath & Beyond, just to be normal and smile at people," she told the outlet. "And they do stare at me. And sometimes it hurts my feelings. But I want to say, 'You have no idea what I've been through. And I pray that you don't have to go through this someday too and know what I've felt.'"

She left her daughters out of her will

For reason that still aren't entirely clear, Naomi Judd let her two daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd, out of her will. Instead, the country music icon named her widower, Larry Strickland, the executor of her estate, according to court documents obtained by Page Six. Naomi asked that Larry have "full authority and discretion" over her property and requested that he receive "reasonable compensation" for services provided. "It is common to name the spouse as the executor of a will. But leaving out her daughters seems pointed, like a purposeful act on Naomi's part," an attorney told the outlet in a separate report. Interestingly, should Larry be unable to perform his duties as executor, Naomi asked that Daniel Kris Wiatr, president of Wiatr & Associates, alongside her brother-in-law, Reginald Strickland, serve as co-executors — and not one of her daughters.

Wynonna, on the other hand, is "upset" that she won't inherit a piece of her mother's $25 million fortune. According to Radar, she has spoken to attorneys about possibly contesting the will. "Wynonna was banking on getting a piece of the pie," a source told the mag, adding that Wynonna has frittered away the fortune she earned as part of The Judds.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.