Naomi Judd’s will is apparently causing even more family drama behind the scenes than we realized!
As we previously reported, the 76-year-old country singer left nothing to her two daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd, in her will — instead appointing her husband of 33 years, Larry Strickland, as the executor of her estate. So it’s up to him if the two women get any of their mom’s $25 million fortune! If her longtime partner died or was unable to serve, she decided her brother-in-law Reginald Strickland and Daniel Kris Wiatr would then work as co-executors. The girls were completely shut out!
Oof! Certainly an inneresting move on Naomi’s part to exclude her two children from the will. And as it turns out, Wynonna is more than just unhappy about the decision — she’s ready to fight!
According to Dailymail.com, the 58-year-old country crooner plans to contest her momma’s wishes, believing she is entitled to some of her fortunes since she helped build it through her work in their award-winning group The Judds. The source explained:
“To Wy, her feeling is Naomi built her fortune at least partially on the back of Wynonna’s own hard work. She was the one who was the lead singer of The Judds dating back to the 1980s and took Naomi from working as a nurse to being a star. Naomi sang harmonies and kind of acted like the ringleader on stage, but it was Wynonna’s amazing voice that pushed them over the top.”
The will never mentioned what will happen to the duo’s extensive music catalog, which means whatever portion Naomi owned will go to Larry at this time — instead of her duet partner!
While Wynonna is livid over the will, which her mom created in 2017, it seems Ashley surprisingly doesn’t seem to have an issue with it! The insider shared:
“Ashley Judd has no problem with her late mother Naomi leaving her entire $25 million fortune to her second husband Larry Strickland. With Ashley it’s never really been about the money. She has a net worth of some $14 million but lives a relatively simple life.”
Though the girls put on a united front when news of their momma’s death broke, this difference in opinions over the will apparently have opened up old wounds in the sibling rivalry between Ashley and Wynonna!
The source noted that the “finances are near and dear” to Wynonna since she has a long and complicated history with her spending habits and with her mom. In fact, a family insider told RadarOnline that the former Dancing With the Stars contestant’s troubled relationship with money was one of the reasons Naomi put Larry in charge of her estate! Another source added to DailyMail.com:
“Wynonna blew through literally tens of millions of dollars she earned with the Judds and as a solo artist.”
It was so bad she reportedly had to hold a yard sale at her home in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee to raise money for herself in 2000. While still on the brink of bankruptcy four years later, Wynonna ended up checking herself into a treatment center for her “money disorder.”
Nowadays, a source claimed that the musician “has gotten better at keeping her spending in check, but she’s still not flush as she should be given all the money she’s earned” — and “Ashley is wealthier than her.” Her desire for more money is reportedly one of the reasons she shockingly decided to continue with The Judds’ farewell tour, which starts on September 30:
“Wynonna has been out there hustling for years as a solo act, but she plays casinos and small theaters for mostly modest paydays. The Judds are a much bigger draw than Wynonna by herself – this fall tour is playing at good-sized arenas and Wynonna stands to gain a lot better pay than she gets solo. Of course with Naomi’s death The Judds farewell tour was a solo affair for Wynonna, but she fixed that problem.”
The insider continued:
“She called in some favors from some famous friends. So, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill and Brandi Carlisle among others are joining Wynonna at various shows to sing Naomi’s harmony parts with Wy as she performs The Judds’ biggest hits.”
To be fair, that sounds like a pretty great show for Judds fans. But while Wynonna is bringing on other popular country stars on the 11-date tour, one person she is excluding from the show? Her sister! The source explained:
“Early on, Ashley believed she was going to be part of this Judds farewell tour, to join Wynonna on stage and offer up some remembrances of their mother. But it looks like she has been shut out by Wynonna.”
Ouch! This is pretty surprising to hear considering that they seemed to be so supportive of each other in the wake of Naomi’s death — even attending her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame the day after. But obviously that good will didn’t last:
“[At first] Ashley and Wynonna really leaned on each other in their grief over Naomi’s death, but you knew it was only a matter of time before their ages-old sisterly issues would resurface.”
Those “sisterly issues” are indeed well known.
Ashley even penned in her 2011 memoir All That Is Bitter and Sweet that Naomi would “play favorites” between the duo and often felt like she was “the forgotten Judd child” who was left behind while Wynonna and their mom went on tour. After The Judds stopped performing due to Naomi’s Hepatitis C diagnosis, their rivalry increased as Ashley rose into stardom with her acting career:
“Suddenly it was all Naomi could talk about much to Wynonna’s chagrin. Even though they lived on adjoining properties tension got so bad between Naomi and Wynonna that at several junctures they would go months without speaking to one another – at one point, nearly a year. Ashley has also had times when she would go months without talking to her mother.”
Things were so bad at one point that Wynonna didn’t even invite Ashley or Naomi to her wedding to her third husband, Cactus Moser.
Hopefully, these two ladies won’t let this will drama get in between them — especially since they are still mourning the loss of their momma! Reactions, Perezcious readers?
[Image via MEGA/WENN, Adriana M. Barraza/WENN]