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Ashley Judd shares stories of sexual abuse, drugs and neglect in 'All That Is Bitter and Sweet'

April 5, 2011 |  2:15 pm


Ashley Judd's new memoir, "All That Is Bitter and Sweet," is the latest bombshell bio to hit bookstore shelves, with shocking details and accusations of drug use, sexual abuse, neglect and lies.

While her mother, Naomi, and sister Wynonna made up the famous country duo the Judds, the actress reveals she felt like an outcast.

"I loved my mother, but at the same time I dreaded the mayhem and uncertainty that followed her everywhere ... I often felt like an outsider observing my mom's life as she followed her own dreams," Ashley Judd writes.

Part of that mayhem came from her mother's love life. Judd explains in the tell-all that Naomi became pregnant with Wynonna, but the father, Charlie Jordan, didn't want anything to do with raising the baby. Instead, Naomi led Ashley's dad, Michael Ciminella, to believe the baby was his.

Unfortunately, Ciminella didn't fit the daddy profile either. According to the "Someone Like You" star, there was always "marijuana inside the house," and he was "prone to taking hallucinogenics." It got even worse when Naomi's next boyfriend turned out to be an "abusive full-blown heroin addict with a criminal record."

Judd also exposes stories of sexual abuse saying, "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."

With such a rocky childhood, Judd confesses that when her mother and sister are quoted saying "our family put the 'fun' in dysfunction," she's left wondering, "Who, exactly, was having all the fun? What was I missing?"

Of course, Naomi and Wynonna aren't keeping quiet about the memoir either. Wynonna told "Entertainment Tonight," "The veil has been lifted. Secrets keep you sick, and families will heal once you get real."

Naomi put it this way, "I think it's key for us to spend time figuring our own reality. Every unhappiness is tied to a story, and we have to go back and figure out our stories. And then it's our stories that connect us."


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— Emily Christianson

Photo: Ashley Judd at the Regency Hotel in Manhattan. Credit: Jennifer Altman / For The Times.