“He makes me feel like the most special person on earth," Hudson said about her son David.
Jennifer Hudson suffered not just one unbelievable loss but three in 2008 when her brother-in-law was arrested for murdering her mother, brother, and nephew. The Academy Award winner and American Idol alum's mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother, Jason Hudson, 29, were found shot to death in the family's home on October 24. The killer also murdered his stepson, Julian King, 7, whose body was found in a car 10 miles away. William Balfour, who was 27 at the time, and is separated from Hudson’s sister, Julia, was arrested in the first-degree murders, per PEOPLE.
Two years later Hudson opened up about the terrible ordeal on VH1’s Behind the Music: Jennifer Hudson. “It’s all a blur, it was surreal,” she said according to PEOPLE. “It was like I was outside of myself.” She coped by shutting the world out and "for almost two weeks straight . . . [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.”
The 41-year-old singer also found comfort in her son (with her then-fiancé David Otunga) who reminded "me of my nephew,” adding that he also helped her remember her mother. Hudson welcomed her son David Daniel Otunga Jr. in 2009. “In so many ways I channel her because she was such a great mom,” she said. Her son, little David, “makes me feel like the most special person on earth. I want him to get the same love and the same upbringing my mother gave us.”
In a 2015 interview with Glamour, the Dreamgirls star opened up about why she rarely speaks about the tragedy. "It's frustrating as hell to me to have somebody who ain't lost nothing try to talk to me about it," she said. "I want to say, 'Don't even bother, because you know nothing.' But you never know how much you can get through until you're going through it."
When her son was born in 2009 she said she "went from being an aunt, having a mom, and being a child to not having a mom, becoming a mom, and raising my own child. I tell David all the time, 'You saved my life.'"
Hudson has been through a lot in her life. She and her ex Otunga, a former wrestler, were together from 2008 to 2017. The Respect star said that Otunga showcased "increasingly aggressive, threatening, and harassing behavior" towards her and their son and accused him of mental and physical abuse, as per E! News. She also claimed that he accused her of cheating, and asked their son to spy on her.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | (L) Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris (R) Photo by Dia Dipasupil