Ashley Judd to release memoir at age 41

NEW YORK Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:41pm EST

Actress Ashley Judd of the movie ''Helen'' poses for a portrait at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, January 17, 2009. REUTERS/Ramin Rahimian

Actress Ashley Judd of the movie ''Helen'' poses for a portrait at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, January 17, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Ramin Rahimian

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actress Ashley Judd is writing her first book, detailing how painful childhood experiences led her to advocacy work for abandoned women and children in poor countries, the memoir's publisher said on Tuesday.

Judd, 41, the star of 1999 thriller "Double Jeopardy", will draw upon 500 pages of journal entries she wrote about healing losses from a fractured childhood spent in Kentucky and Tennessee with her country music star mother, Naomi Judd.

Judd, who has recently concentrated more on university studies and humanitarian causes than acting, said her early experiences inspired her work abroad as global ambassador for prevention program Youth AIDS.

"By sharing my own story along with those of the beautiful and resilient people I've met in the most desperate places, I want to show how the change we seek in the world must start within us," Judd said in a statement released by publisher Ballantine Books, a division of Random House Inc.

The as yet untitled memoir is due to be released in 2011.

Judd was treated for depression in 2006. She told Glamour magazine at the time that attending 13 schools in 12 years and living at various times with her mother, father and grandmother made her "a hyper-vigilant child" and obsessed with perfectionism as an adult.

Judd, whose half-sister Wynonna Judd also made a career in country music, has appeared on the big screen in only a handful of films since 2006, including "Tooth Fairy" which was released last week.

Judd is married to Scottish racing car driver Dario Franchitti. She is currently enrolled at Harvard University working toward a mid-career masters in public administration.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant)

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