Ashley Judd Talks Hitting Back At Attacks On Her Appearance: The Feedback Has Been ‘Extraordinary’

Ashley Judd has been the victim of nasty media attacks for weeks after her face recently appeared slightly rounder than usual.

While critics and bloggers slammed the beauty as having undergone poor cosmetic surgery, in reality, the variance was due to multiple rounds of steroid medications to treat an illness, and Ashley hit back at the rumors by writing a piece for The Daily Beast blasting the sexist and inaccurate commentary.

“The feedback on the conversation has been nothing short of extraordinary,” Ashley told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Thursday’s Access Hollywood Live of the response to her story, adding that the piece took her a mere “18 – 20 minutes” to write. “Once I made the connection and grasped the contradictions [of], ‘She looks too good — it must be fake,’ [or] ‘She looks bad — it must be fake,’ — all talking about the same woman and the same appearance — once I grasped that, very much nudged by my husband, who was so outraged on my behalf, the piece came to me and I just wrote it because it was there.”

“How do you feel being at the center [of the conversation]? Is it OK?” Billy asked.

“Well, it’s not really about me and that’s why it’s on fire,” Ashley replied. “I was just a surrogate — or this particular series of unbelievably sexist and nasty criticisms about me were just a delivery system highlighting what we all go through. If it were just about me, it would have sort of died within a 24-hour news cycle.”

Despite the sudden onslaught of attention, Ashley said she would “absolutely” take the risk and write the article again if given the opportunity.

“What I am is obedient to that inspiration when it comes,” she said, when asked if she would pen the piece again. “Yesterday, when I was starting to understand that this beautiful storm was blowing, I [thought], ‘What do I have to do?’ and, ‘I have to do more.’ And then I thought, ‘I didn’t do this in the first place. God did this.’

“So what I’m supposed to do is just continue to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand it, and God is going to take care of all of this,” she added. “My job is when the click happens and it’s time for me to write, is that I have the humility and the willingness and the vulnerability to write.”

Beyond her conversation-provoking writing, Ashley is starring as a mother (and ex-CIA operative) on the hunt for her kidnapped son on ABC’s “Missing” – for which the 43-year-old spent four months in Europe while filming.

“Each episode was set in a different spectacular part of Europe,” she told Billy and Kit. “The pilot was Rome and [episode] 2 was Paris, the episode this week is Prague and then we’re in Vienna.

“Our finale is in Istanbul, which was really incredible to film,” she added.

But Ashley wasn’t globetrotting solo! The actress travels with her husband, professional racecar driver Dario Franchitti (when he’s not on the racetrack), along with their two dogs, Chug and Buttermilk, and cats Agnes and Amelia.

“If you come to visit me when I’m on set, chances are I’m going to ask you to go through Tennessee and pick up a cat and bring it with you,” Ashley said with a laugh.

Catch Ashley in action on “Missing” – Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.

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