Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall Wednesday during a church speech paid tribute to his wife who committed suicide and blames spotlight of his public office for worsening her opioid addiction and depression
Bridgette Marshall, 45, shot herself dead at her apt in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Sunday
Bridgette’s husband detailed her struggles with drug addiction and mental illness, which was exacerbated by being in the public eye, her husband , 53-year-old Steve Marshall said Wednesday
Marshall said Bridgette’s mental health issue sand opioid addiction stemmed from migraines since childhood
She had been living away from her family to avoid the stress of the public eye
Moments before her death she told husband, she was tired and felt like a burden
The couple married for more than 20 years shared a young adult daughter
Alabama Attorney-General Steve Marshal wondered if his wife of two decades would still be alive if he had turned down his appointment in February 2017. His couple’s daughter Faith stood [right], weeping beside her dad. He was speaking Wednesday, June 27, 2018, about the circumstances surrounding his wife Bridgette’s death
Bridgette Marshall, 45, was found in her apartment in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head and police listed her death as suicide.
Marshall sobbed throughout a 21-minute press conference at his church on Wednesday, surrounded by his 20-year-old daughter Faith and other family.
In his statement the bereaved lawman wondered if his wife of more than 20 years would still be alive if he had turned down his appointment in February 2017.
Alabama Attorney-General Steve Marshall sobbed throughout a 21-minute press conference at his church on Wednesday as he spoke about his wife’s suicide
A distraught Marshall joined by his daughter, Faith who wept through his speech, at the media briefing.as he wondered if his wife would still be alive if he had turned down his appointment in February 2017.
‘It’s tough, it’s tough,’ he began before detailing his wife’s health issues dating back to her childhood when she suffered intense migraines.
‘She’d come home and spend days in dark rooms trying to get over the pain, but it didn’t get away. Nothing helped,’ he said.
Marshall said he felt compelled to publicly address the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death following a report Tuesday night that Bridgette Marshall had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Bridgette had sought quiet refuge in the Nashville suburb as a consequence of her mental illness, Marshall said
“It is not our desire to be here today,” Marshall said. “We were forced to be here today. I know I’m speaking to you in some ways as the attorney general of Alabama. But I’m a dad, I’m a husband. And I watched my daughter read a reckless article last night that disclosed the circumstances of how Bridgette died and where.
“And I watched my daughter in tears because Bridgette is not a public figure. I am. She didn’t want the limelight. She didn’t want to be in front. She always was behind. And for Faith to suffer through that last night, as a father, angered me. And it angered our family. So when we should have been sharing stories of Bridgette’s life last night as a family, we were talking about how to respond. Because that story was only filled with half-truths. It’s not the full story of how it is we stand here so sadly today and what it gave rise to was rumor, for gossip and for people to say things that were reckless. And we weren’t going to stand for that. As a dad, I’m not going to let my daughter go through that.”
Steve Marshall revealed that his wife Bridgette [left], seen with daughter Faith [center], suffered from drug addiction and mental illness before her suicide on Sunday
The migraines led to an addition to the hydrocodone and fentanyl used to treat them, and she ‘didn’t completely embrace recovery’ after a stint in rehab.
AG Marshall, 53, said his wife of 20 years also showed early signs of mental illness and during their marriage was diagnosed with a ‘depressive disorder’ and anxiety.
Her family once had her committed for treatment when she refused to go, and on later occasions convinced her to seek further inpatient help.
Bridgette Marshall also had another unspecified health issue that meant she had to be fed through a feeding tube for months up to the time of her death.
Bridgette Marshall [right], wife of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall [left], was found in her apt in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with a self-inflicted gunshot found to the head. Her death was ruled a suicide
Marshall espoused his belief that being in the public after her his appointment made Bridgette more anxious to the point she felt like everyone was watching her.
‘It’s not a sign of weakness, let’s make that clear. Nobody wants to be mentally ill,’ Mr Marshall said.
Eventually she felt she couldn’t be in the state any longer and rented an apartment in a complex her family didn’t even know the location of until May, but spoke on the phone with Mr Marshall every day.
[She left] not because she didn’t love her family and love her husband, but because of the way she perceived her life, that was her only option,’ her husband said.
Ms Marshall came to Alabama to be with her family at the primary election on June 5 and her birthday the next day and seemed filled with ‘joy’.
‘She was as happy as I had seen her in a long time,’ he said.
Happy times: Newly minted AG, Steve Marshall, kisses his seemingly happy wife, Bridgette, on the cheek after he was swearing ceremony in Feb in 2017
Steve Marshall wondered if his wife of more than 20 years would still be alive if he had turned down his appointment in February 2017.
However, soon after ‘something changed, we don’t know what’ and she began to complain about her stomach and talk about suicide.
The day before she died, unexplained blisters showed up on her feet and none of her family could work out what was wrong.
‘Her parents talked to her and I talked to her and we convinced her to go to the hospital the next day. And she said she would go,’ Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall planned to pick his wife up on Sunday morning and drive her to the hospital, but then she told her parents ‘I won’t be alive when you get here’.
‘I got on the phone with her and I was talking to a person who didn’t have any hope,’ He recalled.Marshall detailed Bridgette’s health issues dating back to her childhood when she suffered from intense migraines.
AG Marshall revealed that his wife Bridgette [center], also showed early signs of mental illness and during their marriage was diagnosed with a ‘depressive disorder’ and anxiety
The widower said his wife also showed early signs of mental illness and during their marriage was diagnosed with a ‘depressive disorder’ and anxiety
She told him: ‘I don’t have any purpose and I’m tired. My body’s failing me and I don’t know why. I’ve had pain for a long time and I don’t want to endure it anymore and I’m just a burden.’
The husband said he tried to convince her she wasn’t a burden and was loved by her family, but it didn’t seem to work.
‘As a guy who, professionally, is supposed to be able to convince people with words to do something, I couldn’t reach her,’ he said.
‘She said “I’m tired of being tired. And I just want to go”. And she said “do you want to hear it?” And I said “no, I don’t”. And she hung up the phone.’
Marshall said he had planned to pick his wife up on Sunday morning and drive her to the hospital, but then she told her parents ‘I won’t be alive when you get here’
Subsequently, Steve and other relatives called police and officers found her lying dead on the couch inside the apartment sometime after 7.46am.
‘I continued to call her phone and she didn’t answer. And then we learned she had died from a gunshot wound in that apartment. And our lives changed. They changed forever,’ Steve Marshall said.
Marshall [L-R], seen at Wednesday’s media briefing, said he had planned to pick his wife up on Sunday morning and drive her to the hospital, but then she told her parents ‘I won’t be alive when you get here’
‘For me, I wonder whether or not if I wasn’t attorney general, would she still be alive?’ he said.
‘Whether I hadn’t chosen public service, would she still be here today? And I’ll be haunted by that for the rest of my life.
‘I hope some day to be able to forget that conversation we had that Sunday morning and remember what she did for others.’
Mr Marshall ended the press conference by reading a note Ms Marshall left for him after the election, where he gained the most votes for re-election.
‘Steve, I knew you would pull this off. It was a great birthday gift I knew was coming. You are the man for the job in Alabama,’ the note read.
‘I love you more than you will ever know and couldn’t be more proud how you handled it all as you always do with grace. I love you. Love, Bridgette.’
Mr Marshall added: ‘That is the woman I will celebrate this week. That is the life I will share with others. And that is the life I will remember.’