Appearing as first witness in the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and nephew, Jennifer Hudson broke down in tears several times as she remembered her happy family and their gruesome deaths. The accused, William Balfour, is the estranged husband of Jennifer’s sister Julia. She told the court that none of the family wanted Julia to marry William because “We did not like how he treated her.”
She grew wistful as the prosecution walked her through her early days from the time of moving residence to Yale and joining Yale School at 6th grade. When asked about her relationship with her mother she mentioned that she slept in the same bed with her until she was 16.
Jennifer told the court that her mother texted her every morning, each day, after Jennifer left home to become a singer and an actress and pursue her career. She talked about the last time she saw her family, when in Chicago, all of them gave her a surprise visit along with the family dog ‘Dream Girl.’ The prosecution spared her the ordeal of having to identify the photos of the dead bodies of the members of her family and made her identify them from other pictures taken when they were alive.
Remembering fondly about the last time she was together with her entire family in her home, she told the court about the surprise family visit. “My nephew Julian was sitting, reading a book in the living room … My mother and my brother – I was playing my piano, and my mother sat on one side of me, and my brother sat on the other side, and I was singing them a song…”
Talking about the day of the gruesome incident, Jennifer told the court that at the time she was in Tampa, Florida, with her fiancé, and she found it strange that her mother had not texted her in the morning. “I thought it was very strange because … there is o message from her at all, that was just really odd to me. And I kept sitting there wondering like that’s strange,” she told the court. She then texted her mother but there was no reply.
Explaining how she was informed of the incident later in the day, she said, “…my sister called my fiancé’s phone. I remember it like yesterday, obviously. And he couldn’t understand what she was saying because she was so hysterical, and I grabbed the phone from him and that’s when she was – she told me.”
Talking of the events next she said, “I got home – I got to Chicago – it was nighttime …” Some time later next day, she was called to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office to identify the body of her mother and brother.
She told the court that from then on her sister Julia lived with her in a hotel room while they kept looking for her nephew Julian. The police searched during Saturday and Sunday, and on Monday, October 27, 2008, they found the body of Julian in an abandoned car.
The accused, William Balfour has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer says there is no forensic evidence linking him to the killings.