Ashley Judd’s U.S. Senate campaign ended before it started.
It still made for plenty of headlines, however, not the least of which when she wound up the subject of a recent scandal involving would-be opponent Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
On Tuesday, Mother Jones released a recording of a private meeting among McConnell’s aides, in which they plotted against Judd in preparation for the 2014 campaign.
In the leaked Ashley Judd tape, McConnell staffers talked and laughed about her political ambitions, religious beliefs, and mental health (among other things).
Now Judd, for her part, is fighting back.
"This is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C," a rep for the actress said in response.
"We expected nothing less from [McConnell] than to take a personal struggle such as depression, which many Americans cope with on a daily basis, and turn it into a laughing matter."
"Every day it becomes clearer how much we need change in Washington from this kind of rhetoric and actions."
At one point during the McConnell team’s discussion, an aide brought up Judd’s past bouts with depression as a possible political vulnerability.
"She’s clearly, this sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced," he said.
"I mean, it’s been documented. Jesse [Benton, the campaign manager] can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she’s suffered some suicidal tendencies."
"She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a breakdown in the ’90s."
The leaked recordings are now being investigated by the FBI, at the request of Sen. McConnell, who accused opponents of engaging in "Watergate-era tactics" against him.
Judd seriously considered mounting a challenge to the powerful politician in her home state of Kentucky next year, but declined to run for Senate.