A few of you commented on our Reese Witherspoon People Magazine story that you were interested in hearing about Ashley Judd’s upcoming memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet, which is included as an inset item on the cover. We heard some advance details in this week’s National Enquirer, and I initially gave it a pass as I hate reporting on sexual abuse. Plus I don’t particularly care for Ashley after some of the things I’ve heard about her. (Read the comments on that linked story.) According to the Enquirer, Ashley writes that she was abused as a child by an older stranger and that no one believed her, that she was raped as a teen, and that she was a victim of sexual abuse from an unnamed relative but didn’t remember it until the memories came up when she was in therapy. It all sounds pretty harrowing.
While her ambitious mother Naomi and sister Wynonna traveled across America trying to make it big as country singers, Ashley says she went to 13 different schools between the ages of 5 and 18, growing up feeling unloved and unwanted.
Her mother and father Mihcael Ciminella, divorced when Ashley was 4, and Ashley admitted that as early as 7 she began suffering from depression.
The first of many sexual assaults that Ashley endured occurred when she was still a little girl living in Kentucky, where Naomi had moved the family following her divorce.
Ashley recalls in graphic detail being pulled into a dark, empty store by an older man who offered her a quarter to play a pinball machine.
She remembers vividly how he grabbed and groped her and stuck his tongue in her mouth. She was able to fight him off – but afterwards when she tried to tell adults what had happened, she was devastated when no one believed her!
Later, when Ashley moved back to Tennessee with her mother, the 42 year-old actress writes that Naomi’s volatile relationships with men were profoundly disturbing to her.
Ashley said that as a child she was exposed to inappropriate sexuality, loud sex in the next room, and witnessed her mother in epic fights with men, including one during which Naomi pulled a gun.
Ashley recalled playing with that weapon at a young age, loading bullets into the chamber, giving it a spin, cocking the trigger and holding it to her temple!…
When she was still in high school, the teen won a modeling competition with the prize of a two month contract in Japan. What appeared to be the break of a lifetime turned into a nightmare.
During the modeling gig, she endured the unwanted advances of one of the bosses and a male model tried to force her to perform oral sex. One day the young model accepted a ride from a Frenchman who raped her in his car…
In the book, Ashley explains that when her older sister Wynonna went into rehab for compulsive overeating in 2006, Ashley realized that she needed counseling as well for her own issues. In an effort to finally get help, she checked into Shades of Hope rehab center in Buffalo Gap, Texas.
During her 42 day stay, Ashley wrote that her treatment revealed suppressed memories of childhood incest she suffered at the hands of a relative. She does not name the family member in the book.
[From The National Enquirer, print edition, April 11, 2011]
That’s just awful. I’m not a firm believer in suppressed memories. From what I understand it is a real phenomenon though and there have been repressed memories that have been verified as true from details given by victims. There’s controversy over the topic due to the fact that some memory “retrieval” has been prompted or planted by therapists and has led to false accusations.
Getting back to Ashley Judd, that’s really terrible all those things happened to her and maybe she hopes to help other victims. I question why she’s coming out with a memoir though. The last thing I saw her in was Tooth Fairy and that was the only movie she had out last year. Her career has pretty much stalled in the past few years, and if those diva stories are accurate we may know why.
Ashley is shown on 9/20/10. Credit: WENN.com