Ashley Judd: Actress, Novelist, Abuse Advocate?

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BY ALISON SCHUTZ ANCHOR ALISON SCHUTZ You're watching multisource entertainment news analysis from Newsy ...
BY ALISON SCHUTZ ANCHOR ALISON SCHUTZ You're watching multisource entertainment news analysis from Newsy Seeking self-revelation or just some attention? Actress Ashley Judd has lifted the veil on her less than happy childhood in her new memoir. The book is supposed to focus on Judd’s life purpose and advocacy work around the world. But, critics and media alike are narrowing in on her childhood abuse and questioning her intentions. Today’s Meredith Vieira questions Judd on why she included the dark details. MEREDITH VIEIRA: “ said your mom ignored you a lot of the time, there’s a quote here, ‘I was a stranger in my own family...remember endless times spent on my own’, thoughts of suicide as a kid, dealing with depression. Why include all of that?” (WIPE) ASHLEY JUDD: “That section of the book for me is about hope, resilience, and recovery. But it doesn't make any sense to share my recovery unless I’m also willing, you know, to share some of the uncomfortable things that set me up to need help in the first place.” The Village Voice’s Michael Musto says “been there, done that” and isn’t impressed by Judd’s do-good, skeleton in the closet, celebrity confession. “Ashley's suffering and depression are terrible, and something she still has to deal with every day. But unless all the proceeds are going to abuse victims, do celebrity memoirs really help those victims more than anyone else?” The love blog YourTango looks into the story behind Ashley’s sudden transparency and polled readers on whether they think her repressed memories are even true. “Ashley's career has kind of had a lull but we're sure the buzz of the new book and revealing family secrets will get her noticed again. But now we have to wonder: [what] do you think about her recalling these memories now?” But a Salon blogger throws out the question of truth, saying Judd’s account doesn't necessarily need to be “accurate”. “...Judd's admission that her memoir is ‘true for me’ allows for an acknowledgment of the real trauma she's experienced while also making room in the narrative for other versions of events. Memory might not hold up in a court of law, but that doesn't matter much to a scarred heart.” So, what’s her family say? Country stars: mom, Naomi, and sister, Wynonna, tell ET they’re proud of Ashley...but jump from their hot seats rather quickly. NAOMI JUDD: "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." WYNONNA JUDD: “And the veil has been lifted...” NAOMI JUDD: “We gotta go, baby.” WYNONNA JUDD: “...secrets keep you sick and families will heal once they get real.” NANCY O’DELL: “So you’re proud of your revelations and of Ashley.” WYNONNA JUDD: “Yep.” Naomi Judd tells Today that she hopes her daughter’s book does well. Yet, E! Online reveals Ashley refused to join her family on their new reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network that debuts this Sunday. 'Like' Newsy on Facebook for updates in your news feed Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy