NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The family of country singer Naomi Judd filed a court petition Friday to seal police reports and recordings made during the investigation into her death.
The family filed the petition in Williamson County Chancery Court, saying the records contain video and audio interviews with relatives in the immediate aftermath of Judd’s death, and releasing such details would inflict “significant trauma and irreparable harm.”
The petition was filed on behalf of her husband Larry Strickland and her daughters Ashley and Wynonna Judd. A representative provided it to The Associated Press with the family’s permission.
Judd, 76, died on April 30 at her home in Tennessee. Her daughter Ashley has previously said that her mother she killed herself, and the family said she was lost to “the disease of mental illness.”
The court filing also included details about how Ashley Judd found her mother alive after she shot herself. Ashley stayed by her mother’s side for 30 minutes until help arrived.
The petition asks the court to prohibit the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office from releasing the records for several reasons, including that the disclosure would include her medical records and that the family has a right to privacy.
Tennessee public records law generally allows local law enforcement records to be released, but police have the discretion to hold records while an investigation is ongoing. Once an investigation is closed, that exemption no longer applies. The AP left a message for the sheriff on Friday seeking comment.
Strickland, Wynonna and Ashley Judd submitted statements outlining their concerns about the records. Strickland said in the court filing that he was unaware that his interviews with law enforcement were being recorded and that he shared personal and private information to assist in the investigation.
Ashley Judd said she was in “clinical shock, active trauma and acute distress” when she spoke with law enforcement and that she did not want those records, including video, audio and photos, to permanently stay in the public domain and haunt their family for generations.
The petition said that media outlets in Tennessee had already filed public records requests in her case.