FRANKFORT — Actress Ashley Judd has bought a house once owned by her father in Ashland, the northeastern Kentucky city where she spent part of her childhood.
Judd paid $120,000 on March 21 for a house on Morningside Drive in the Beverly Hills subdivision, according to Jay Woods, chief deputy in the Boyd County property valuation administrator's office.
The purchase occurred six days before Judd, a Tennessee resident, ended speculation that she would run for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky against Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell.
Boyd County PVA Chuck Adkins said the house once belonged to Judd's father, Michael Charles Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horse racing industry.
The house, built in 1944, has 1,405 square feet with three bedrooms and one bathroom, according to Homes.com.
Adkins said Judd's father had sold the house to a next-door neighbor, Beth O. Kee, and she sold it to Judd last month through the law firm Edwards & Klein. A spokesman with the law firm declined to comment.
"It will be good for Ashley to have a Kentucky home to come home to," Adkins said. "Now she won't have to stay with her grandma."
Adkins was referring to Polly Judd, a former Ashland city commissioner who expressed skepticism in November about her famous granddaughter's possible run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky as a Democratic challenger to McConnell. Polly Judd called her granddaughter "a Hollywood liberal."
Adkins said he didn't think the timing of the purchase had anything to do with Judd's political ambitions.
Judd's publicist, Cara Tripicchio, had no immediate comment Monday. Judd's primary residence is outside Nashville.
When Judd announced March 27 via Twitter that she would not run for the Senate, she said she would "continue to work as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people, & their needs, dreams and great potential."
Former state Treasurer Jonathan Miller of Lexington, a friend of Judd, said the house purchase showed she "will be very active in Kentucky and Kentucky policy issues."
Judd was born April 19, 1968, in Granada Hills, Calif. Her parents were raised in Eastern Kentucky and divorced in 1972. Her mother, Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, brought Ashley back to Kentucky in 1973, and she spent most of her childhood there. Her older half-sister, Wynonna, also is a country singer.
Judd attended the University of Kentucky and Harvard University and is a regular at UK basketball games and the Kentucky Derby. She announced in January that she and her husband, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, were ending their 12-year marriage.
Judd received her second Emmy nomination last year for her work in the canceled television drama Missing. She's currently on movie screens in Olympus Has Fallen, and she will appear in The Identical, due this fall, according to Imdb.com. She has starred in the movies Double Jeopardy, Where the Heart Is and Ruby in Paradise, among many others.
Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: Bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com.