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Ashley Judd: I Pity My Poor Mother Naomi After Memoir Fallout

USMagazine, Thursday, April 7, 2011, 8:05am (PDT)

She can't exactly yank it off the shelves, but Ashley Judd is shame-spiraling a little bit now that folks have read her shocking new memoir "All That Is Bitter and Sweet" -- which paints her country singer mom Naomi in a rather bad light.

Response to the book has "been a little bewildering to me," Judd, 42, told E! News in New York on Wednesday. "My poor mother, who's incredibly witty and so quick with a quip, she's probably regretting she said 'We put the fun in dysfunctional.'"

In her tell-all, the "Double Jeopardy" actress slams her mom, 65, for bringing "mayhem and uncertainty" into her childhood: Pot was always in the house, and her mom's live-in boyfriend was an "abusive full-blown heroin addict with a criminal record."

"She and my sister [Wynonna] have been quoted as saying that our family put the 'fun' in dysfunction," Ashley wrote. "I wondered: 'Who, exactly, was having all the fun? What was I missing?'"

Judd also revealed sexual abuse at the hands of an old man from the neighborhood. But, she told E!, she's disappointed in how the press has reacted to the book.

"They put disproportionate emphasis on the fact that we had a family system that didn't work very well and the kinds of the things that happen in those family systems happen to all of us," she explained.

During one press interview (reportedly with CNN), in fact, Judd wanted to "quit ... I had the ridiculous assumption that the interview I was doing with a very serious news outlet was going to be a news interview ... and it wasn't. It was just really disappointing. I was like 'I'm done. I'm going to go home and take a nap.' And I called one of my mentors, and he said 'Can you just hold your nose during the smelly questions and get through it and think of the people you committed your life to?'"

The most important fact, she says? "I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Well, so what? I'd say about 80 percent of the people in the U.S., according to statistics, have. I remind myself that my story is a surrogate story so that people will buy the book."

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