With all of her successes and her seemingly enviable life- career, lasting weight loss- you could be forgiven for forgetting that not too long ago, singer Jennifer Hudson endured a horrific family tragedy.
Just three years ago, Hudson’s mother Darnell Donnerson, 57, and the American Idol star’s brother Jason, 29, were found slain in Donnerson’s Chicago home. An AMBER Alert was issued for Hudson’s 7-year-old nephew Julian, and for three days, no one knew what became of the boy. Then a small body was located in a 1994 Chevy Suburban in Chicago, and later confirmed to be that of Hudson’s nephew, who had died of multiple gunshot wounds. Although Hudson was devastated by the simultaneous loss of her brother, mother and nephew, she coped well- going on to marry fiance David Otunga and later welcoming a baby boy with the professional wrestler. She also lost a ton of weight and became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers.
Hudson didn’t really talk about the immense tragedy, but in a recent interview with Ebony, she opens up a bit about her near miss the weekend of the murders. Hudson’s quiet sadness is evident as she explains that Otunga’s invitation for her to attend a WWE match in Miami is the only thing that kept her from her mother’s house that day:
“That’s one of the things that saved my life, because I could have been home with my mom then.He wanted me to come out to Florida with him instead of going to Chicago… I flew out to see him; that’s why I’m still here. I’ve never said that before, and I can’t believe I just said that now. But I didn’t know. He was just like, ‘I’m going to this wrestling thing, and it’s in Tampa. I’m going out there now, so you can come out there and see me versus going home.'”
Hudson’s full interview is available in the latest issue of Ebony, for which she graces the cover.