Ashley Judd Face Accident: What Happened to the Actress and Activist?

an image of Ashley judd
learn about Ashley Judd’s face accident, the side effects of her medication, and the Congo trip/PHOTO COURTESY:Instagram

Ashley Judd is a well-known actress and activist who has starred in films such as Double Jeopardy, Divergent, and A Time to Kill.

She is also a humanitarian who has been involved in various causes, such as fighting sexual harassment, protecting wildlife, and promoting women’s rights.

However, in February 2021, Judd suffered a horrific accident that nearly cost her life and left her with a shattered leg and a swollen face.

Here is what happened to Ashley Judd in the accident and how she is recovering from it.

The Accident in the Congo

Judd was visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of a research project on bonobos, a species of endangered primates that are closely related to humans.

She was hiking in the rainforest with a group of local guides when she tripped over a fallen tree and broke her leg in four places.

She described the incident as “an incredibly harrowing 55 hours” in an Instagram Live interview with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof1.

Judd said she lay on the ground for five hours, with a “badly misshapen leg,” biting a stick because of pain, and “howling like a wild animal.”

She was eventually carried by two men on a makeshift hammock to a motorcycle, where she held the top part of her broken tibia together for six hours until she reached a dirt airstrip.

From there, she was flown to the capital city of Kinshasa, and then to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she underwent an eight-hour surgery to repair her leg

Judd said she was lucky to have survived the ordeal, as she could have died from internal bleeding, infection, or shock.

She also expressed her gratitude to the Congolese people who helped her, saying they were “heroes” who showed her “the exceptional nature of the human spirit.

She also thanked her father, who flew to South Africa to be with her, and her sister, Wynonna Judd, who sang to her on the phone to comfort her1.

The Recovery Process

Judd has been documenting her recovery process on social media, sharing photos and videos of her physical therapy sessions and her progress.

She said she had to learn how to walk again after losing control of her foot due to nerve damage.

She also said she had to deal with intense pain and swelling in her leg and face2.

In August 2021, Judd announced that she was walking again, nearly six months after the accident.

She posted pictures of her hiking in the Swiss Alps, saying she felt “in my case, my natural garment of self, at home in my spirit.”

She also said she was working on rebuilding her stamina and strength2.

Judd also revealed that she had fractured her leg again in 2022 due to grief-associated clumsiness following her mother Naomi Judd’s death by suicide.

She said she healed quickly from the second injury and that it allowed her to grieve for her mother.

She also said she had to re-enroll herself in trauma therapy to cope with the media coverage of her mother’s death and the invasion of her privacy

Judd said she was lobbying for a change in Tennessee law to limit access to confidential records pertaining to non-criminal deaths, to prevent other families from going through the same trauma.

She also said she was using her dark past as an asset to help others who are suffering34.


Ashley Judd is an actress and activist who faced a near-fatal accident in the Congo rainforest that left her with a broken leg and a swollen face.

She has been recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of the incident with the help of therapy, family, friends, and fans.

Ashley has also been advocating for causes that are close to her heart, such as wildlife conservation, mental health awareness, and privacy rights.

She is an inspiration for many people who are going through difficult times and challenges.


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