How Wynonna Judd's daughter arrest shows the messy relationships the Judd family's women are struggling to hide
Grace, however, isn't the only one with drama. The Judd family has quite the turbulent past. In fact, Wynonna herself had a messy relationship with her mum and her sister Ashley.
Country singer Wynonna Judd's daughter Grace Pauline Kelley is going behind bars. She has been sentenced to eight years in prison after she dropped out of a drug recovery program that was a part of her probation time. The star's daughter pleaded guilty of cooking, peddling, and possessing meth and was to be arrested originally in November last year. She had also been charged with cooking and delivering the drug to Maury County. After she pled guilty, she was to be sent to prison for 11 months but she was put on probation instead, along with 180 days of rehab.
But this isn't the only time she's gotten trouble with law and order. Grace had clearly had a troubled life so it really comes as no surprise. Back in 2011, the then-adolescent girl disappeared into thin air while returning from boarding school. It was on a flight layover. She was promptly sent to a behavioral camp for half a year before another celebrity family member, her aunt actor Ashley Judd got temporary custody of her. This was in 2013.
Two years later she got caught in the meth web. In the winter of 2015, Grace was arrested in a Nashville Walgreens parking lot and yet again, just several months later was charged with promoting of meth manufacture. At the time too, she pleaded guilty and settled for a lesser charge. Sounds a bit overdone, no? Anyway, later in 2016, she was arrested once more in Alabama as a fugitive from justice, and her probation was revoked. For now, she is set to get out of prison only in August of 2025 and her next parole eligibility is only in February next year. Grace is Wynonna's child from her first marriage with Arch Kelley III.
Grace, however, isn't the only one with drama. The Judd family has quite the turbulent past. In fact, Wynonna herself had a messy relationship with her mum. It all made its way to the public in 1995. According to People, ex-manager Ken Stilts revealed that Wynonna and Naomi Judd, who is also a popular country singer and actor could not stand each other at all. He said that they are "at each other's throats every minute of the day and that "they performed many times with sunglasses so you couldn't see they had been crying." This was the time the two were at the peak of their success in the '80s. She is also known to have called her mother her "my beloved enemy."
"It’s agony and ecstasy," Naomi had said in the interview. She was 49 at the time. "There’s no question that the mother-daughter relationship is the most complex on earth. It’s even more complicated than the man-woman thing," she had remarked. Her former husband Larry Strickland, too confirmed the agonizing side of things. He had said, "When the three of them walk into a room they can soak up all the oxygen." The two were married for six years. He was commenting on the relationship that the three - Ashley, Wynonna and Naomi shared. When Naomi married Cactus Moser in 2012, she didn't even invite the two to her wedding, that's how bad things were between the three.
As for Ashley and Naomi's relationship, the actress' memoir from 2012 was a tell-all. Ashley claimed that she had lived a pretty chaotic childhood because of her mother's drama. In the book, called "All That Is Bitter and Sweet", the actor said that she had been sexually abused as a child by a family member and when she tried to tell them what had happened, they didn't pay heed. "There was too much trauma, abandonment, addiction, and shame," she said, "My mother, while she was transforming herself into the country legend Naomi Judd, created an origin myth for the Judds that did not match my reality. She and my sister have been quoted as saying that our family put the 'fun' in dysfunction. I wondered: Who, exactly, was having all the fun? What was I missing?" Soon after, the two ladies also revealed that they had also gone through similar experiences. But didn't that mean they would have been more supportive? Was this just damage control?
Ashley also revealed that her mother and father had been very openly sexual around her as she was growing up. She wrote in the book, "Mom and pop were wildly sexually inappropriate in front of my sister and me. A horrific reality for me was that when pop was around I would have to listen to a lot of loud sex in a house with thin walls… I now know this situation is called covert sexual abuse."
She also went into treatment for mental illness. She was diagnosed with depression among other issues. "I needed help,"Ashley had said, "I was in so much pain. "They said, 'No one ever does an intervention on people like you. You look too good. You're too smart and together. But you (and Wynonna) come from the same family, so you come from the same wound.' No one had validated my pain before."
At the time her sister Wynonna was also going through therapy herself. - for eating disorder. Wynonna had revealed that she had got into some bad habits since she was a child after her parents split up and her demons followed her into adulthood. She is said to have had a blood clot as well as been in a pretty serious car crash. She had said at the time, "I had been so alone those years of my life my parents were divorced that I would get so hungry, I would get panicky."
The three women had the strangest relationship - if one may say, they were like the original Kardashians, only less booty and more country. If you'd think they at least got along because they had similar issues, you'd be surprised. In 2013, Ashley accused her sister Wynonna of spying on her. The star is said to have gone to the Franklin Police Department after she found a tracking device in her silver Mini Cooper. This was during the time Grace was with Ashley.
Grace, it seems was the center of all this fracas because apparently Wynonna and Ashley were locked in a custody battle for her. Wynonna it seems had lost temporary custody of Grace to Ashley after the teen went to her aunt for help after clashing with her. The tracking device had been placed to keep an eye on Grace by Wynonna. Even in Wynonna's personal life things were not smooth sailing after her divorce with Grace's father, she married D. R. Roach in 2003, who was arrested in March 2007 while at Shades of Hope rehab center in Texas and eventually indicted on three counts of aggravated sexual assault and battery against a minor under the age of 13. She divorced him as well. The women of the Judd family were leading really tumultuous lives, while Grace's life was already spiraling out of control.
More recently, last year when President Donald Trump made his infamous "grab her by the p****" comment, Ashley decided to voice her opinion about it. In the Women's March, she recited a poem called 'I'm a Nasty Woman' and said, "Our p***ies ain't for grabbing, they're for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America's ever will be. They're for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, bossy, brave, proud, nasty women."
Her politically charged speech received a dousing from her mum. The singer tweeted, "A reminder for people visiting my site. For me it's about love of [music] & fellowship with fans. I don't do politics on here. I try to stay away from that toxicity. . . the whole thing is toxic. I'm not giving her all the credit. She doesn't have that kind of power."
With Grace's arrest now, more skeletons could come tumbling out of the Judd family cupboard and there could be more airing of dirty laundry in public, extending the ongoing drama.