INSIDE ASHLEY AND WYNONNA JUDD'S WAR: From a tell-all memoir and tracking device to mom Naomi's will
Wynonna Judd is reportedly planning to formally contest her late mom's will as she believes Ashley Judd and Larry Strickland 'conspired against her'
Country singer Naomi Judd, one part of the duo The Judds, died by suicide in April 2022 and all hell broke loose after it was revealed that the singer left out both her daughters Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd from her will. The former nurse who died at 76 left her $25 million fortune to her husband, Larry Strickland. The will states that Strickland has “full authority and discretion” to do what he sees fit with properties within the estate, including selling or leasing them, without the approval of any court or the “joinder of any beneficiary.” Strickland is also entitled to "reasonable compensation" for his services and any expenses, including attorney and accountant's fees, according to the document.
Besides, the will also states that if Strickland is unable to take control of the estates, they will be handed over to Naomi's brother-in-law, Reginald Strickland, and Daniel Kris Wiatr as co-executors. Wiatr is president of Wiatr & Associates, a business management and accounting firm. Naomi's will was prepared on November 20, 2017.
Witnesses who signed the document testified that she was “of sound mind, memory, and understanding and not under any restraint or in any respect incompetent to make a Last Will and Testament.” While the sisters were extremely uncomfortable going into detail about their mother's death, they did so to ensure it didn’t get out on its own.
On Good Morning America, Ashley told host Diane Sawyer, "She used a weapon. My mother used a firearm, so that's the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand we're in a position that if we don't say it, someone else is going to.” Additionally, she also shared what it was like making the shocking discovery. “I visit with my mom and pop every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was at the house visiting, as I am every day. Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course, I will,’” she said. “I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there, and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”
Naomi was suffering from depression and was open about her mental health struggles including the depression that left her inert for two years. She died a day before she and her daughter Wynonna, of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Radar Online reported that the Judd sisters had been feuding long before drama popped off over being left out of their late mother Naomi's will. Wynonna, 58, placed blame on her sibling, 54, after Naomi's "baffling" decision to cut them out of her $25 million inheritance. Wynonna is reportedly planning to formally contest her late mom's will as she believes Ashley and Larry "conspired against her."
While the will drama appears to be refreshing the tension between the famous siblings, they've had their fair share of bitter disputes over the years. Wynonna reportedly didn't take kindly to Ashley's remarks during the Washington, DC, Women's March following Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017. "I am a nasty woman," Ashley said at the time, citing Trump's remarks about Hillary Clinton while reading the words of a 19-year-old from Tennessee. "I'm as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheetos dust. A man whose words are a distraction to America." Wynonna later sounded off, telling her Twitter followers that she didn't do "politics." The performer also responded to a fan's tweet about Ashley, writing, "The whole thing is toxic. I'm not giving her all the credit. She doesn't have that kind of power." Wynonna later clarified, "I would not bash my sister ever."
I would not bash my sister ever.✌🏽— Wynonna (@Wynonna) January 23, 2017
Before that, Ashley filed a police report in 2013 that revealed she discovered a tracking device in her vehicle. She believed Wynonna was responsible. The device was ultimately linked to a private investigator in Nashville. Wynonna's attorney later explained to law enforcement that her client obtained the device from the P.I., but insisted the performer gave it to her daughter Grace's father, Arch, who they claimed put it on Ashley's car. "It became a rivalry," an insider told National Enquirer about Ashley and Wynonna's relationship, claiming it was further strained when Ashley published her 2011 memoir 'All That Is Bitter and Sweet'. "The book came out just as Wynonna and Naomi were launching their own TV reality show and were hitting the road for a farewell concert tour. Ashley took much of the attention away. Things have been very stilted between them ever since," added the source.
Naomi was married to Larry, 76, for 33 years before her death.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).