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Ashley Judd Reveals Sexual Abuse and Dysfunctional Family In Memoir

Ashley Judd reveals sexual abuse and a dysfunctional family situation in her upcoming memoir titled 'All That Is Bitter & Sweet'.

"Why I love this work really baffled people, so eventually I got willing to put my story in there," explains Judd. "The book is very honest. It's not necessarily accurate because everyone in a family has their own perspective and their own experience. But it's very true for me. It's not so much that I had repressed the abuse, it's that I didn't know."

"That's what sexual predators do. They groom their victims and psychologically manipulate, and because they are shameless when they are perpetrating... they put their shame on me and I have given those SOBs back their shame."

In the book, Judd talks about sexual abuse with several men during her childhood, including one unnamed family member who assaulted her during her adolescence and how no one believed her.

"An old man everyone knew beckoned me into a dark, empty corner of the business and offered me a quarter for the pinball machine at the pizza place if I'd sit on his lap," she writes. "He opened his arms, I climbed up, and I was shocked when he suddenly put his arms around me, squeezing me and smothering my mouth with his, jabbing his tongue deep into my mouth."

"I was taught to believe that our lifestyle was normal and never to question it or complain, even when I was left alone for hours, sometimes days at a time, or when I was passed without warning to yet another relative."

"There was always marijuana inside the house my father was prone to taking hallucinogenics with friends on Saturday nights."

"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 adds. "She and my sister Wynonna 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?'"

She says her childhood was surrounded by "too much trauma, abandonment, addiction and shame" and she grew up depressed, having attended 13 schools before she was 18, as her mother and sister pursued country stardom.

April 5, 2011 |

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