Wynonna Judd, Naomi Judd, Ashley Judd

Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Ballantine Books

Celebrity writes a memoir. Celebrity gets accused of spilling juicy details in order to sell copies (and just in time, too, wink-wink, for the premiere of her mother's and sister's new TV series). 

Do the standard publicity-stunt accusations stand up for Ashley Judd—and for Wynonna and Naomi Judd, for that matter?

Let's take a look:

Conspiracy Corner, Comic Con 2009 Brick

Accusation No. 1: Ashley Judd is drafting on her mom's and sister's publicity tour.

If you saw Good Morning America this morning, you know this one's true.

Whether or not Ashley meant to upstage Wynonna and Naomi, she's along for the ride whereever her family goes to talk up The Judds, their new documentary series on Oprah Winfrey's network, OWN, premiering Sunday.

Accusation No. 2: All the Judds are in on this.

So, was the book published to promote the TV series? And vice versa?  


For one thing, there appears to be some genuine family drama and disconnect going on here.

At an appearance on behalf of her book in New York City last night, Ashley sounded distressed, and ready to go home. She expressed sympathy for her "poor mother."

On GMA, Naomi said a crying Ashley had reached out to her via phone.

Behind the scenes, according to a "Judd family insider" who blabbed to PopEater.com, things may be even dicier. The source said the revelations in Ashley's book were "shocking and hurtful" to the family. 

For another thing, Ashley's publisher, Ballantine, is a division of Random House, which published Kitty Kelley's very unuauthorized biography of Naomi and Wynonna's new boss, Oprah. In other words, the odds of cross-corporate synergy seem low.

Accusation No. 3: Ashley's only trying to sell books. 

If you write a book, then, yes, of course, you want to sell it. But is that your only motivation?

Ashley would say the answer is no.

Last night, she talked about publishing her memoir in order to bring attention to the people she works with on global humanitarian missions—and being bewildered that the press was focused only on the passages about her family.

If that's the case, then perhaps the biggest publicity thing Ashley is guilty of is being naive.

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