AG Marshall talks wife's battle with mental illness, suicide

Marshall held a news conference Wednesday discussing his wife's passing (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Marshall held a news conference Wednesday discussing his wife's passing (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Jun. 27, 2018 at 1:57 PM CDT
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ALBERTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall gathered Wednesday with family and tearfully talked about the passing of his wife Bridgett and her battle with mental illness.

Marshall first thanked supporters and said that he and his family have been overwhelmed by the texts, thoughts, and prayers.

"If you knew her in life you knew her spirit, and you've taken the time to be here today, means the world," Marshall said. We are humbled, grateful, and we are thankful, but I will tell you this, it is not our desire to be here today. We were forced to be here today,"

Marshall then criticized a "reckless" article that described the events surrounding Bridgett's death. An article Marshall says he had to watch his daughter read in tears.

"When we should have been sharing stories about Bridgette's life we were discussing how we are going to respond," Marshall said. "The opportunity for rumors, gossip, and for people to say things that are reckless, and we aren't going to stand for that. As a dad, I'm not going to let my daughter go through that."

Marshall then went on to say that the family decided that being transparent about what happened on Sunday could be helpful for someone else who has dealt with suicide or is suicidal.

"We aren't the only family who's had a family member who suffered from mental illness. We know Bridgette isn't the only person who suffered from suicide," Marshall added.

Marshall talked about his wife's battle with mental and physical illness saying she suffered from migraines, which led to an opioid dependency. She was later committed by Marshall and her family for in-patient treatment of major depressive disorder and anxiety.

"Being married to me probably didn't help," Marshall expressed, saying his wife didn't want to be in front but rather always behind.

"For me, I wonder whether or not, if I wasn't attorney general, would she still be alive. If I hadn't chosen public service whether she would still be here today. I will be haunted with that for the rest of my life." Marshall said.

Marshall then read a letter his wife left to him following the primary election, detailing how proud she was of him and how much she loved him.

"That's the woman I will celebrate, this week. That is the life that I will share with others and that is the life that I will remember," Marshall said. "Please allow us to celebrate that life and to no longer have to discuss her death."

Bridgett's visitation is scheduled for Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at McRae Funeral Home Chapel in Boaz. The funeral will be held at the same location Friday at 10 a.m.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.