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At first glance you'd think Ashley Judd had it all: Beautiful, smart, talented; the daughter and younger sister of country-music stars Naomi and Wynonna Judd; a thriving Hollywood career, playing gutsy characters in films like 'Kiss The Girls' and 'Double Jeopardy'; and, since 2001, she's been married to professional race-car driver Dario Franchitti. Reads like a fairytale, doesn't it?
But, there was another side to Ashley's story. Last year, she released her memoir: 'All That Is Bitter & Sweet.' She wrote about the abuse she suffered as a child, the downside of coming from a famous family, and her lifelong struggle with depression.
In 2006, Ashley checked herself into a treatment facility seeking a way out of her depression and anger. She got the help she needed, and today finds spiritual balance by helping others. By her own count, she's worked with grassroots empowerment programs in 13 countries, focusing on AIDS, human trafficking, poverty, and social justice. In 2010, she graduated from Harvard, with a degree designed to make her an even more effective humanitarian.
Through it all, she's never strayed too far from acting. Ashley starred in the serial drama, 'Missing,' playing a retired CIA agent and devoted mother desperately searching for her lost son, and she is currently filming a feature called 'Olympus Has Fallen' opposite Gerard Butler.