Julian King

by (@shalapitcher)

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

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.
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Jennifer Hudson’s Mom And Brother Murdered, Suspect In Custody, Nephew Still Missing

William Balfour (above), who is the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson’s sister and the prime suspect in the killings of her mother and brother, is in custody. He has not been charged with any crimes at this time. The Chicago Police Department released a photo of seven-year-old Julian King (pictured at right), who has been missing since the murders. A nationwide Amber Alert has been issued in an attempt to find him.

Gossip outlet TMZ, which appears to be scouring the block on the South Side of Chicago where the murders took place in the longtime home of the Hudson family, is claiming that police are focusing on a dispute over a car.

“TMZ has spoken with several other neighbors this morning who say Julia complained to them that William Balfour sold one of their cars without permission. One neighbor told TMZ the dispute got so heated William threatened to “kill Julia’s family” but she didn’t report it because she didn’t take it seriously.”

Bloggers and Internet users, hungry for information on the only known murder suspect, have been surprised to discover that William Balfour’s MySpace page has not been taken down. On the page, William describes himself as follows:

“I AM A 26 YEAR OLD, I RESIDE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO, I HAVE A WIFE HER NAME IS JULIA, AND I ALSO HAVE A 6 YR OLD STEPSON, I DON’T TOLERATE BULLSHIT, SO DON’T COME TO ME WITH IT, I LIKE TO LIVE LIFE AND EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING THATS WHY I’M HERE SEEING WHAT IT’S ABOUT, I MIGHT AS WELL LET YOU ALL KNOW THAT JENNIFER HUDSON IS MY WIFE’S SISTER I’M PROUD OF HER AND WISH HER NOTHING BUT THE BEST IN WHAT SHE DO BUT DON’T HIT ME UP ASKING BOUT HER, OTHER THAN THAT IT’S ON!”

The following picture of Jennifer’s murdered brother Jason was posted recently to Julia Hudson’s MySpace page. (Be sure to read the caption!)


This tragedy strikes Jennifer Hudson at a time when her career is skyrocketing. After winning an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007′s Dreamgirls, Jennifer not only performed at the Democratic National Convention at the request fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama but her single “Spotlight” is at the top of the R&B charts. She also had roles this year in Sex and the City and The Secret Life of Bees. Even more tragic: The killings come mere months after her engagement to David Otunga, aka Punk from I Love New York.

Share your condolences and browse pictures of Jennifer Hudson, her family and suspect William Balfour.

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