Actress Ashley Judd has opened up about her abusive childhood in her new memoir because she wanted fans to read the full story behind her lifelong battle with depression.
The Double Jeopardy star, daughter of country singer Naomi Judd and sister of Wynonna, has gone public with shocking claims of sexual assault during her youth in her candid autobiography, All That is Bitter & Sweet. In the tome, the actress recalls how she was first abused by an older man living near her family home, before being taken advantage of by a relative's husband.
She managed to overcome her troubles to launch a successful career in Hollywood and went on to marry race car driver Dario Franchitti in 2001.
But Judd was forced to seek help to deal with her growing depression in 2006 and entered the Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Texas to deal with her demons once and for all.
The actress and humanitarian has since become a huge fan of therapy, but she insists her story about overcoming the blues would not have been complete if she didn't delve deep into her childhood for the book.
She tells People magazine, "It was never my intention (to detail abusive past), and I would have been happy to write the book without it. But our painful past becomes our greatest asset..."
Speaking on American breakfast show Today on Tuesday (05Apr11), she adds, "I was given the gift of my own recovery and really that, for me, is about hope, resilience and recovery, but it doesn't make any sense to share my recovery unless I'm also willing to share the uncomfortable things that set me up to need help in the first place.
"I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and I just didn't know what was wrong with me... I looked really good on the outside, and I had a lot of anxiety, insomnia, and I realised eventually that I was powerless over my childhood and the coping strategies that I developed had made my adult life unmanageable, and so I needed to find a power greater than myself to help me make peace with all of that to have a very simple and effective design for living today.
"It's too late to go back and have a happy childhood, but, by the grace of God and a pretty simple recovery and fellowship, life is good today."