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Tennessee Supreme Court overturns inquest into country singer Naomi Judd’s death

Tennessee’s Supreme Court has overturned a ruling that required police to disclose their investigation into the death of country singer Naomi Judd.

The state Supreme Court did not rule on whether the records could be released, but sent the case back to the lower court for another hearing.

In August, Naomi Judd’s family filed a lawsuit to seal police reports and tapes made during the inquest into the country star’s death.

The recordings contained video and audio interviews with Judd’s family members after his death. The release of these details would cause “considerable trauma and irreparable damage”, his family said.

NAOMI JUDD’S FAMILY GRANTS COURT ORDER TO KEEP DEATH RECORDS PRIVATE

Judd’s family filed the petition in Williamson County Chancery Court in Tennessee, as the filing was made on behalf of the late singer’s husband Larry Strickland and daughters Ashley and Wynonna.

Tennessee’s Supreme Court has overturned a ruling that required police to disclose their investigation into the death of country singer Naomi Judd.
(Image AP)

Williamson County Chancellor Joseph A. Woodruff ruled against the Judd family on Aug. 31, denying their request for an order to keep the records private while they pursue their legal action. The documents “do not appear to fall under any recognized exception to the Public Records Act,” Woodruff found.

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In addition, the chancellor ruled that specific recordings in the police file are public recordings, including body camera footage taken in Judd’s home. But the Tennessee Supreme Court challenged that part of the chancellor’s order.

The Tennessee Supreme Court announced Thursday that Woodruff should not determine which specific documents are public or private without a full hearing on the matter.

The court reversed Woodruff’s earlier decision and sent the case back to the Chancery Court for a retrial.

Meanwhile, the late country star’s daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd reflected on their mother’s legacy ahead of an 11-city tour. Fans will have the opportunity to pay tribute and cheer in the country legend’s music.

Ashley Judd, left, and Wynonna Judd speak during a tribute to their mother, country music star Naomi Judd, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.  Naomi Judd died on April 30.  She was 76 years old.  (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Ashley Judd, left, and Wynonna Judd speak during a tribute to their mother, country music star Naomi Judd, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. Naomi Judd died on April 30. She was 76 years old. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
(Image AP)

Actress and humanitarian Ashley Judd dedicated her life to social justice and became a goodwill ambassador for UNFPA.

“I really think our advocacy has been mutual and reciprocal,” Ashley Judd said. “I know after many of my more public forums, she … told me … she was captivated by my boldness.”

Wynonna Judd said fans have become nostalgic for the music that gives them fond memories.

WYNONNA JUDD SAYS SHE CRIED ‘A LOT’ AFTER HER MOTHER NAOMI JUDD’S DEATH: ‘I FEEL JOY AND SADNESS’

“I think people want something real. I think they want something they remember,” Wynonna Judd said.

After their mother died, Wynonna Judd said she reached out and asked for help while giving herself time to grieve alone.

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“I do things that make me feel alive most of the time, and then I call my grief counselor and say, ‘I’m really struggling today…'” Judd said.

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“Reaching out is absolutely essential, and I’m better at it today…”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please contact Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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