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Naomi, Wynonna Judd: We Were Sexually Abused, Too

USMagazine, Friday, April 8, 2011, 9:59am (PDT)

In her headline-grabbing memoir, "All That Is Bitter and Sweet," Ashley Judd talks about being sexually abused as a child by an older man. Now her famous mother and older sister, aka the singing duo the Judds, are revealing they had similar experiences.

On "The View" Thursday, Ashley's mom, Naomi, said that as a 3-year-old, she was forced to fend off unwanted advances of an older male relative.

"I rebuffed him, and it happened twice more," said the singer, 65. "I knocked him away. I never said anything to anybody."

Naomi, who discusses the incident in her OWN Network series "The Judds" (debuting Sunday), said she kept the story secret until two years ago, when in a therapy session, her psychologist asked about her first memory.

"I told him, well, being sexually abused was my first memory, and he about fell off his seat," said Judd, who adds she "fell apart" after the discovery. "I realized I didn't trust my mother."

Naomi's oldest daughter and singing partner, Wynonna, 46, said that she heard her mother's story only recently, when they were touring.

"I was a little resentful that the cameras were on," said Wynonna. "But we're willing to step out on faith and hope that it helps someone else to tell someone, because there is a lot of shame and secrecy."

Asked if she'd also been a victim of sexual abuse, Wynonna said she had been and talks about it in her own memoir, "Coming Home to Myself."

"I haven't faced him yet," she said. "I'm a work in progress."

Wynonna also put to rest rumors that Ashley's book has caused familial strife.

"People are trying to pit us against each other," she said. "We agree to disagree in this family."

Added Naomi, "I support Ashley. We all have three different realities of the same car ride of the nightmares we were in. It's her turn to tell her side of the story."

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