Jennifer Hudson’s Family Tragedy Remembered As William Balfour Jury Selection Begins

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When Jennifer Hudson sang a tribute to Whitney Houston at this year’s Grammys, we were reminded of the extra layer of emotion she brought: Hudson knew something of what Bobbi Christina Brown was going through, and months after the murder of Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew in 2008, it was Whitney Houston who presented her with a Grammy. Now, the Oscar winner is no doubt bracing herself to relive that tragedy once more, as jury selection begins today for the trial of William Balfour, the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister, Julia.

Balfour is accused of killing Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson and 7-year-old nephew Julian King (Julia’s son) in a jealous rage. Hudson is on the list of 300 prospective witnesses and is expected to attend the trial when opening statements are scheduled to begin on April 23. Jury selection will be a painstaking process, to assure they won’t be swayed by Hudson’s star status.

All these years later, we still get choked up remembering JHud’s brave return to the public eye at the Super Bowl and the Grammys following the murders. And just try not to tear up watching her Behind the Music interview from 2010 above.

“It’s all like a blur. It was surreal. It was like I was outside of myself,” she said of the aftermath. “I pray when I get up in the morning and pray before I lay down at night. If I didn’t, I’d wake up depressed.”

She said she spent almost two weeks straight in one room, with family and friends visiting, as she avoided the public eye, but eventually, she decided it would be healthier to return to her career. “I knew if I sit here and dwell on it, it’s going to be harder.”

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