Ashley Judd Splits With Race Car Driver Husband Dario Franchitti

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 08:08 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Actress Ashley Judd and her three-time Indianapolis 500 winning husband Dario Franchitti are calling it quits after more than 11 years of marriage.

In addition to her acting career, which includes such films as "Natural Born Killers" and the TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Judd is an outspoken liberal activist with political aspirations.

In late 2012, rumors circulated of Judd, 44, entering the political arena in her home state of Kentucky with a Senate run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 election.

What effect, if any, the divorce will have on her potential political career is still yet to be seen, though divorce is widely considered to be a negative when it comes to politicians, particularly in socially conservative states such as Kentucky.

"We have mutually decided to end our marriage. We'll always be family and continue to cherish our relationship based on the special love, integrity, and respect we have always enjoyed," Judd and Franchitti, 39, said in a joint statement released to People magazine on Tuesday confirming the breakup.

At the time, the Golden Globe-nominated actress did not confirm the political speculation, telling Us Weekly last November, "I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I'm very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let's focus on coming together to keep moving America's families, and especially our kids, forward."

McConnell, who is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky's history, responded to the rumors in the same US Weekly piece through his campaign manager, Jesse Benton: "Senator McConnell and his wife are big fans of Ashley Judd's movies and appreciate her energy, particularly when it comes to getting young people engaged in the political process."

Political pundits haven't weigh in yet about whether the split will impact Judd's political aspirations, however an unscientific poll conducted by found that 81 percent of participants believed the divorce would not hurt Judd's future chances in politics, while just 19 percent felt it would.

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