Naomi Judd Talks About Complicated Relationship With Daughters Wynonna and Ashley: “We Try”

Naomi Judd talking about her daughters
Naomi Judd talked a little about her complicated relationship with daughters Wynonna and Ashley on Watch What Happens Live  Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Love can build a bridge — but are the Judds willing to cross it? Naomi Judd and daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd have a very complicated relationship, fraught with old wounds that have been reopened time and time again, often in the public eye. Asked about their current dynamic during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live this past Wednesday, Nov. 12, 68-year-old matriarch Naomi chose her words carefully.

"Wynonna is staying out on the road so stinkin' much, singing," the songstress began of her eldest daughter, 50, with whom she formed the country duo The Judds in the 1980s. "Ashley, I know, is in the Smoky Mountains, hiking."

"And everything's good with you and your daughters?" WWHL host and Bravo exec Andy Cohen interrupted, trying to get to the heart of the question. "Everything's good?"

"Yeah…" Naomi said hesitantly, "but it's that mother-daughter relationship, you know?"

Geographically speaking, at least, the trio are as tight as they've ever been. "We live in a valley, a very remote valley — it's called Peaceful Valley [in Tennessee]," she said with a little giggle, seeming to acknowledge the irony of the name given the family's less-than-peaceful history. "We try! Wynonna lives over the hill behind me, and Ashley lives up the road. It's a compound. W.A.C.O. — we ain't comin' out!"

Physical proximity, of course, is no guarantee of any kind of emotional closeness. All three were living in Leiper's Fork, Tenn., when Wynonna married Cactus Moser in 2012, and neither Naomi nor Hollywood actress Ashley was invited to the nuptials. "She probably doesn't even know [about the wedding]," Wynonna said at the time of her younger sister, 46, whose 2011 memoir All That Is Bitter and Sweet created a rift in the family with its allegations of "trauma, abandonment, addiction, and shame." 

"We just don't have a lot of contact right now, if any, because we're all doing our own thing," the singer explained, adding that they planned to sit down with a life coach and "re-evaluate" what each of them wanted out of the relationship.

"I don't agree with anything she says half the time," Wynonna told Us several months later. "We're so different. But I love my sister."

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