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Aug. 15, 2022

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Ashley Judd met with man who raped her in 1999

Actor says discussion a ‘restorative-justice’ talk


Actress Ashley Judd says she had a discussion with a man who raped her in order to have a “restorative-justice conversation.”

On a new episode posted Tuesday of the Healing with David Kessler podcast, which was reported on People Magazine’s website, Judd talked about that experience, as well as the loss of her mother and how she and her family are dealing with their grief.

Judd told Kessler that she decided to “slowly approach” the man who in 1999 raped her, and how she was able to find him without much difficulty.

“To make a long story short, we ended up in rocking chairs sitting by a creek together,” she said. “And I said, ‘I’m very interested in hearing the story you’ve carried all these years.’ And we had a restorative-justice conversation about that.”

“I just kind of wanted to share that story because there are many ways of healing from grief,” Judd said. “And it’s important to remind listeners that I didn’t need anything from him and it was just gravy that he made his amends and expressed his deep remorse, because healing from grief is an inside job.”

Ashley Judd ‘a three-time rape survivor’: In 2019, while speaking at the Women in the World Summit in New York and discussing abortion rights, Judd said she is “a three-time rape survivor.” In one case, she said the rape led to a pregnancy.

“I’m very thankful I was able to access safe and legal abortion,” she said. “Because the rapist, who is a Kentuckian, as am I, and I reside in Tennessee, has paternity rights in Kentucky and Tennessee. I would’ve had to co-parent with a rapist.”

“So having safe access to abortion was personally important to me and, as I said earlier, democracy starts with our skin. We’re not supposed to regulate what we choose to do with our insides,” Judd was quoted as saying.

Ashley Judd’s childhood healing: On Tuesday, Judd talked to Kessler about the loss of “a sense of trust” that she experienced, beginning when she was molested by a man when she was 7 years old.

“‘They said, well, he’s a nice old man, that’s not what he meant,’” she said. “The loss of my voice was a grief.”

She said that through recovery, she has been able to “regain myself.”

“I can’t really go back and have a happy childhood, but I can create for myself a very happy today.”

She added later: “Weaving together the losses of my childhood with the pursuit of gender equity today has made meaning in my life.”

Ashley Judd fights for women’s rights: Judd has spoken frequently about her experiences and advocated for women’s rights around the globe.

Kessler asked her about a time when she was considering whether to come forward publicly with allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein. She said she talked to her mom about it.

Her mother, Naomi Judd’s response: “She said, ‘Go get ‘em, honey,’” Judd recalled.

As she processes the grief associated with Naomi Judd’s death, Ashley Judd said she’s experienced depression and changes in sleep habits.

She said she and her sister, Wynonna, have spent time together and supported each other in their grief.

“She’s in a pretty different place than I am right now,” Judd said.

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