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Although she hasn't officially decided on it, actress and avid Democrat Ashley Judd isn't ruling out a run for U.S. Senate in her native Kentucky.

Ashley Judd Photo

Judd lives in Tennessee and would have to re-establish residence in neighboring Kentucky before challenging Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

The 44-year-old says she's honored to be mentioned as a potential candidate, but sidestepped the question of whether she would actually run in 2014.

"I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul," she said.

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Combating critics of her appearance once again, Ashley Judd went off on the sexualization, objectification and hatred of women she perceives in society.AJ Judd

Stories about Judd's puffy face, caused by the medication she had been taking for a sinus infection, gave way to plastic surgery rumors in recent weeks.

Rumors that did not sit well with the Missing star, who is assailing critics left and right over this "sad commentary" on our obsession with appearance.

"I think it's hatred of women that invites the criticism," the actress told NBC.

"I think it's the objectification of girls and this hypersexualization of our society. It doesn't have anything to do with me, really, and how I look."

Judd says the reaction to her appearance was as swift as it was negative.

"There was no presumption of goodwill," she says, and that's what pushed her over the edge. "The conversation went straight to, 'Oh my gosh.'"

Particularly galling, besides the "nasty, vitriolic and gloating tone," she added, was the speculation that the 43-year-old had plastic surgery.

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Ashley Judd says medication caused her face to appear puffy lately, not plastic surgery as many assumed - and she's far from pleased that people assumed that.

The Missing star wrote in The Daily Beast:

"The Conversation about women's bodies exists largely outside of all of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us."

Judd Face Puffy

"The Conversation about women happens everywhere. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification."

Judd continues to explain that as a general rule, she has refused to read media articles related to herself, because, "I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself."

"I thus abstain from all media about myself."

When it came to the controversy over her unusually puffy face while promoting her new series, however, the actress got wind of it - and felt that there were underlying issues critically important to her and impossible to overlook.

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Through her marriage to IndyCar racer Dario Franchitti, Ashley Judd knew Dan Wheldon well.

Therefore, a day after the 33-year old Indy 500 champion lost his life in a horrific on-track accident, the actress has memorialized the star via a Twitter message and poem.

Ashley Judd, Husband

"As we continue to absorb Dan's accident -- we forget, remember, re-experience shock, denial, anger, pain -- I'm reminded of a favorite poem," Judd writes, including the verse in question:

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, Due not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest & sleepe, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure then from thee, much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee doe goe, Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie. One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die. J Donne.

Our thoughts go out to Wheldon's loved ones.


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Country music legend Naomi Judd was not a picture-perfect mom.

That much is quite obvious from Ashley Judd's allegations of incest and sexual abuse suffered as a child. Not by Naomi, per se, but on her train wreck mom's watch.

"I will probably get around to reading it, because as a mom, I certainly want to honor her reality," Naomi says of Ashley's memoir, All That is Bitter and Sweet.

"I was horrible," Naomi said. "I didn't know any better."

Ashley Judd's book alleges a childhood of "trauma, abandonment, addiction and shame," and does not mince words about her family's role in all of the above.

Her older sister Wynonna admits that her sister's allegations - a constant flow of pot in the house, sexual abuse by a neighbor and more - have made things tense.

Reading the manuscript, Wynonna said, put her in "an unbearable place between two women that I really love." True, that kind of thing makes holidays awkward ...

Also awkward: Naomi and Wynonna are in the midst of promoting their new OWN reality show, just as the book comes out. Bad PR or GENIUS PR? You decide.

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In a shocking new memoir released today, Ashley Judd details a childhood wrought with lies, pain and sexual abuse. The title: All That Is Bitter & Sweet.

"My mother, while transforming herself into country legend Naomi Judd, created an origin myth for the Judds that did not match my reality," Judd writes.

"She and my sister were quoted as saying our family put the 'fun' in dysfunction. I wondered: 'Who, exactly, was having all the fun? What was I missing?'"

Ashley reveals that while her mother led her father, Michael Ciminella, on to believe he was the father of Wynonna, it was actually another man, Charlie Jordan.

The 42-year-old Kentucky native said that "there was always marijuana inside the house" and that her dad "was prone to taking hallucinogenics with friends."

When she was a toddler, her parents marriage dissolved, and Naomi's new man, who moved in, was an "abusive full-blown heroin addict with a criminal record."

"I was taught to believe that our lifestyle was normal and never to question it or complain. I loved my mother, but at the same time dreaded the mayhem."

Sadly, Ashley then recounts an experience with sexual abuse.

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It is time to stop Sarah Palin. - Ashley Judd

No, Ashley Judd isn't a few months late, or a few years early, in the battle against Sarah Palin securing an office in the White House.

Instead, the actress is narrating a video that calls out the former Vice Presidential nominee for promoting the shooting of wolves.

The video below was filmed on behalf of Washington-based Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. It blasts Palin for supporting an expanded program for the aerial shooting of wolves. Moreover, Judd claims that Palin has offered a $150 bounty for the foreleg of each dead wolf collected.

Palin's response? Follow this article's jump and read all about it!

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After having endured a "dysfunctional" and "chaotic" childhood, actress Ashley Judd underwent a 47-day program at a Texas treatment center last February in order to confront issues of her past -- including depression, isolation and co-dependent relationships.

"I needed help. I was in so much pain," Judd told Glamour magazine, adding that she slept to combat depression and exhibited a compulsion to clean.

Ashley Judd Laughs

In recounting her childhood, the 38-year old described herself as a hyper-vigilant child who often demonstrated perfect behavior in order to compensate for her underlying insecurity. Judd attended 13 schools in 12 years and shifted from living with her mother, father and grandparents.

"Supposedly, my sister was the 'messed-up' one, and I was the 'perfect' one," Judd said.

Her mother is Grammy-winning country singer-songwriter Naomi Judd, and her sister is Wynonna Judd, also a Grammy winner. Her father is her mother's high-school sweetheart, Michael Ciminella. Ashley's parents divorced when she was four.

It was during a visit with Wynonna, 42, who was being treated for a food addiction at the Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Tex., that counselors noticed Ashley's emotional problems and approached her about seeking treatment as well.

"They said, 'No one ever does an intervention on people like you. You look too good. You're too smart and together. But you (and Wynonna) come from the same family, so you come from the same wound.' No one had validated my pain before," Ashley recounted.

She denied reports that she was under treatment for an eating disorder, but did admit she reexamined her diet. With everything under a microscope, she said, it would have been foolish not to reassess. As for her compulsive habit of wiping down plastic surfaces in airplanes and hotels?

"Now I try to remind myself that if I engage in perfectionism, I am abusing myself," Judd said.

She also credits Shades of Hope for helping her marriage to Dario Franchitti, 33, a race-car driver and her husband of four years.

"I was unhappy, and now I'm happy. Now, even when I'm having a rough day, it's better than my best day before treatment," she said. "One of my favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt. That is, 'No one can me you feel inferior without your consent.'"

You reading this, Lindsay?

Ashley Judd Biography

Ashley Judd, Husband Ashley Judd is beautiful. Also, a huge fan of Kentucky Wildcats basketball. More »
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