Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chicago, IL: Jennifer Hudson speaks out about family slayings

June 30, 2010|By Tribune staff report
"It's all a blur, it was surreal. It was like I was outside myself," said Jennifer Hudson on Monday's episode of VH1's "Behind the Music," recalling her reaction to the 2008 Chicago slayings of her mother, brother and nephew.

The Oscar-winning actress and "American Idol" alum from Chicago said she more or less went into seclusion for two weeks following the murders.

"[I was] inside one room with just family and friends coming in and out," she said. "I prayed when I'd get up in the morning and prayed before I laid down at night."

William Balfour, the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson's sister Julia, was charged with three homicides on December 2, 2008.

The bodies of Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother, Jason Hudson, 29, were discovered Oct. 24, 2008 in the family home in the 7000 block of South Yale Avenue. The search for a suspect became urgent when authorities realized that Hudson's nephew, Julian King, 7, was missing. He was found dead, slumped in the back seat of an SUV, on Oct. 27.

Hudson has rarely addressed the murders publicly.

"I feel like I've lived about three or four different lives," she said, adding that her 11-month-old son David Daniel Otunga Jr. "reminds me of my nephew." Hudson is engaged to aspiring pro-wrestler and reality show alum David Otunga. The couple plans to wed in Chicago.

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