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Jennifer Hudson Opens Up About The Murders Of Her Mother And Brother 10 Years Later

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter
By Clark Sparky

Jennifer Hudson is opening up about the tragic murders of her mother, brother, and seven-year-old nephew that occurred in 2008. Her sister Julia’s estranged husband, William Balfour, was sentenced to three life sentences after shooting 57-year-old mother Darnell Donerson, Hudson’s 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson and her nephew Julian King.

She sat down with The Guardian recently as part of a press tour for her upcoming role in the Cats film and talked about coping with the deaths.

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Giphy | The Academy Awards

“Thank God. I think I attribute that first to God, next to [the fact that] when you experience trauma, it comes and goes. It’s always there. But it’s a matter of how you deal with it,” Hudson told the outlet.

Hudson said that their memories have helped keep her moving forward with her career and trying her best to be successful.

Gettyimages | Emma McIntyre

“It would be worse, to me, not to press forward,” she said. “I’m hearing my brother’s voice say, ‘Jenny, knock it off!’ He would be angry at me for giving up. Or all the things that my mother instilled in us. She prepared us. She would say, ‘You know, I’m not always going to be here and I want you all to be able to make it.’ She used to say, without family, you have nothing, which is why it’s so important to take care of family. So if I’m doing that, I know I’m pleasing my mother.”

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter

The singer and actress also said that the foundation they started in her nephew’s honor, Julian D. King Gift Foundation, helped ease some of her pain, as well.

“Because he was strong and very smart. So to live in a way that honors them is what presses you forward. Not to mention, thank God, that I have a child to live for.”

Giphy | The Academy Awards

FOX News detailed how the killings took place, for which Balfour was found guilty on October 24, 2008.

Prosecutors said at the time of Balfour's trial that he became enraged by balloons he saw at the family's Chicago home that he thought were from Julia Hudson's new boyfriend. She told investigators that on the day of the killings, she saw Balfour linger behind as she was driving off from home to her job as a school bus driver. Prosecutors say Balfour went back inside the three-story house around 9 a.m. and used a .45-caliber handgun to kill Hudson's mother in the living room, and then shot her brother twice in the head as he lay in bed.

He allegedly drove off in Jason Hudson's SUV with King inside. Authorities say he shot the boy nicknamed Juice Box in the head as he lay behind a front seat. His body was found in the abandoned vehicle miles away after a three-day search.

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