Jennifer Hudson is one of those people who can proudly affirm that they were made from below. After breaking into the show scene in the 2004 edition of the musical reality show American Idol (in which curiously she was a finalist, but did not win), this woman born 38 years ago in Chicago (Illinios) did not stop her ascent.
His resume makes it clear: he won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for its role in Dreamgirls (2006), as well as a Golden Globe in this same category and for this same role, and participated in the soundtrack of more than 50 Hollywood productions.
More: He did shows at the Super Bowl and at the Grammy Awards, has its star in the Los Angeles Walk of Fame, is a close friend of Barack Obama and currently everyone awaits his next film, in which he will play nothing more and nothing less than Aretha Franklin on Respect, which will be released in August of this year.
Now, the path was not always easy. It is that the singer and actress had to live the tragedy very close. It was in 2008, when his career was booming. At that time, his brother-in-law murdered his mother, a brother and a nephew, in a case that shocked the United States and the entire world.
Jennifer Hudson rose to stardom after performing on American Idol. (Photo: AP)
A toxic relationship
Hudson always had reservations about William Balfour. “We did not like the way he treated my sister, and I did not like the way he treated my nephew,” the actress went on to affirm in front of a court in Chicago, during the trial for these crimes, in 2012 and in the midst of tears.
William Balfour murdered three members of Jennifer Hudson’s family. (Photo: AP)
Balfour was the husband from his sister, Julia, who in turn had a son, Julian, from a previous relationship. Violence was commonplace in the relationship, to the point that Julia, after kick him out of the house they shared in February 2008, he asked for the divorce a Belfour.
Jennifer Hudson poses on the red carpet at the Oscars. (Photo: AP)
It was the beginning of the end. On August 23 of that year, the man showed up at the home with the intention of greeting Julia on her birthday. As the investigation later revealed, Balfour saw there a gift that he thought another man had done it for him.
Three cold blooded crimes
The jealousy attack It was not instantaneous, but rather planned his revenge. A day later, on August 24, Balfour returned home in the morning, shortly after Julia left for work. And he did armed.
Julian King, Jennifer Hudson’s nephew. (Photo: EFE)
Inside they were Darnell Donerson, Hudson’s mother (57 years old), Jason Hudson (one of his brothers, 29), and the little Julian (out of just 7). He murdered the first two Cold-blooded, while he decided to kidnap the minor, whom he kidnapped in his truck.
Jennifer Hudson and her mother, Darnell. (Photo: AFP)
The despair took over the actress and the rest of her family, who quickly communicated that they were offering a reward of $ 100,000 for any information that will lead them to find the child.
However, the effort would be in vain: three days later, several kilometers away from the first crimes, the police found Julian’s lifeless body wrapped in a shower curtain, inside the van of Balfour.
The van in which Julian King, Jennifer Hudson’s nephew, was kidnapped.
“We tried everything, anything we could do to bring him back,” Hudson said at the time, which abandoned filming from The Secret Life of Bees (2008) to accompany his family.
Exemplary arrest, trial and conviction
Unlike other American police cases, this time there was no manhunt to capture Balfour, who quickly went from being considered by the authorities a “person of interest” to being a suspicious for the crimes.
Jennifer Hudson and her mother. (Photo: AP)
Arrested before the body of Julian, Hudson’s brother-in-law, was found denied everything: said that he had gone to the house by train, but the police found that never used his public transport cardNor was it found in the security camera recordings of the stations.
Friends and relatives of Jennifer Hudson come to trial against William Balfour, accused of killing three of his relatives. (Photo: EFE)
The evidence against him began to appear. The first: he used his cell phone near the Hudson home around 9 a.m., the time investigators believed the crimes had taken place. And the second and most important: a trail of gunpowder was found in his truck, sign that he had fired a gun.
Jennifer Hudson and her sister Julia. (Photo: @juleyah)
The trial, which began years later and lasted two weeks, had an exemplary conviction: Balfour was found culpable of three counts of murder in the first degree and sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole to be met consecutively, followed by others 120 years for your other convictions.
The murderer, in this way, returned to prison: he had been behind bars for 7 years for attempted murder and theft of a vehicle, all a sign of his violent behavior.
“I have forgiven him”
The wound will never heal for Hudson. However, the actress assured that her feelings changed over the years, to the point that in an interview with Oprah Winfrey He acknowledged having forgiven the murderer of his family.
Jennifer Hudson testified against William Balfour at the 2012 trial (Photo: AP)
“For the most part, it wasn’t his fault. It’s the way he was raised. We tried to offer him love but he was so lost that he didn’t even notice. He never had a chance“said the Oscar winner.
Jennifer Hudson forgave her family’s killer. (Photo: @iamjhud)
The memory of his loved ones, of course, prevails in Hudson, who even created a holiday in honor of his nephew, just on his birthday: the “Hatch Day”, a word invented by Julian, in which they help low-income children of Chicago (it continues without interruption).
“We never knew what that word meant. He created it. And this is our way of giving him his Hatch Day. This is how we honor his memory“said the actress.
Jennifer Hudson and her sister, Julia, during a “Hatch Day”. (Photo: @iamjhud)
In addition, together with his family, they also created the Julian D. King Foundation, which was established “to provide stability, support and positive experiences to children of all origins to help them grow into productive, confident and happy adults. ”
The “Hatch Day” of Julian King, Jennifer Hudson’s nephew. (Photo: @iamjhud)
“Where we come from, many children do not have school supplies or clothes. Children shouldn’t have to worry about those things. Here we make sure these kids have school supplies and holiday gifts, “Hudson remarked.
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his brother-in-law murdered his mother, a brother and a nephew