In response to rumors of tension between her and her sister Ashley, Wynonna Judd is clarifying the situation. This week Wynonna Judd denies all the rumors that she is fighting with her sister Ashley Judd for Mom Naomi’s will.
“Someone told me while I was at Ashley’s house, ‘Hey, did you know that they’re saying this about you?’ I went, ‘Huh? I’m fighting with Ashley? Oh. Again?'” Wynonna Judd recalls. “Fighting over what? I have such a great life. Ashley has a great life. Why would we be fighting over the will?”
According to Wynonna, Naomi, who was 76 when she committed suicide in April, named Larry Strickland, her husband of 33 years, as the executor of her inheritance. Wynonna claims that after his death, she and Ashley will “divide” the fortune equally, and she has no intention of challenging the will.
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“I am the last person in this family — and if Ashley was here, I’d hope she’d agree with me — who knows stuff like this,” she says. “I’m not savvy enough to go, ‘I’m going to contest the will.’ It never occurred to me.”
Wynonna (whose father is Charles Jordan) and Ashley (whose father is Michael Cimenella) think they’ve become even closer since their mother’s death.
“I feel like we’re connected in a way that is so different because I’m an orphan,” she says. “Both my parents are gone, and I’m relying on Ashley. She’s relying on me in a different way that’s about compassion. It’s not about being successful and smart and capable. It’s about, ‘I love you.’ ‘I love you, too.’ We’re vulnerable with each other, and we’re tender.”
“As sisters, we disagree on so much,” she adds. “But when it comes to our mother, we both look at each other and go, ‘She was quite the character.'”
The sisters’ relationship has been troubled by arguments for a long time. At Wynonna and Cactus Moser’s low-key 2012 wedding, neither Ashley nor Naomi were there.
“[Ashley and I] were separated at age 14 and 18 by success,” Wynonna says. “So we’ve missed out on a lot of time together.”
Wynonna, who launched The Judds: The Final Tour on September 30, says she and Ashley are in a much better place now thanks to the assistance of a life coach.
“Ashley and I are very different people, and we are learning that we have more in common than we don’t,” she says. “That’s really interesting, because when you’re younger, you think there’s more disconnect. We had a really deep conversation the other day, and we got through it and nobody got hurt.”
“We’ve been able to work the process our life coach has given us: communication, compromise and compassion,” she continues. “In my disagreements with Ashley and Mom, I never gave up loving them, because I knew behind all that, there was someplace to meet and connect upon. I tell people: Try to find something that you have in common. Ashley and I, when it all goes to hell, can play cards and get along.”
Wynonna Judd’s entire grieving process is chronicled in the new issue of PEOPLE, available on newsstands this Friday.
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