The Hatfields and McCoys ain’t got nothin’ on The Judds. The celebrity family’s famous feuds are threatening to hamper Ashley Judd’s political career in Kentucky even before it starts.
“She [Ashley] is not as smart as she acts,” her mother Naomi Judd volunteered to Piers Morgan in January.
Ashley is just another “Hollywood liberal,” complained her grandmother to The Associated Press in December 2012, adding she would vote for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell before her own kin.
With relatives like these, who needs Karl Rove’s American Crossroads? The political action committee is already using Ashley’s grandmother’s words against her in local ads. The star’s bizarre comments about human “breeding” probably won’t help her either.
For Ashley, Judd-on-Judd sparring, according to her tell-all book, started when momma overlooked her in favor of country music and the lifestyle that goes with it. In “All That Is Bitter and Sweet,” Ashley ripped Naomi for dragging her around the country in pursuit of men and the perfect ballad, to the point where Naomi even ignored Ashley’s several claims of rape at the hands of mountain men.
Ashley demurred after her book was released, “I had not anticipated there would be such extraordinary interest in … my experiences growing up” when the star’s cries for help went unheeded by her Grammy-winning mom.
She said her target audience had been readers interested in her social justice work in Cambodia. But in a separate interview with E! she acknowledged the potential sales power of her exposé of Judd family secrets.
Appearing on “The View” Naomi and Wynonna Judd, her oldest daughter and band mate, dissed Ashley to Barbara Walters. Wynonna said her pet name for Ashley was “The Third Judd” like the wheel and hinted her half sister’s moment in the spotlight would soon be over.
“We’re allowing each of us to have a voice. It’s Ashley’s turn now. We have a reality show coming out on Sunday,” plugged Wynonna. The show would partly be about their own competing histories of sexual abuse.
Naomi elaborated that she and Wynonna, queens of country music in the 1980s, had always been a twosome and only reluctantly added Ashley, who couldn’t “carry a tune in a bucket.” Even so, Wynonna did not invite her mom or Ashley to her third wedding in 2012, saying they would be have been downers.
Around college age, Ashley forsook the Peace Corps to migrate from the Smokies back to California, where she was born, to pursue acting. Her natural father, whom Wynonna believed to be hers until Naomi revealed otherwise 30 years later, had been in marketing in the Golden State when he corralled Naomi.
Pappy Michael Ciminella now lives in the same Tennessee holler as the rest of the clan. Wynonna is currently trying to evict him.
Meanwhile, Ashley has been busy with a divorce from her Scottish racecar-driving husband, Dario Franchitti, 39, five years her junior. The pair, living out Ashley’s infertility ideal, has no children. News of their divorce coincides with rumors of Ashley’s candidacy for McConnell’s U.S. Senate seat.
Looks like her campaign might have to sway a few of Judd’s kinfolk first .