Jennifer Hudson Opens Up About Close Relationship With Slain Mother
American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson suffered an extraordinarily emotional day on Monday when testifying at the trial of the man accused of murdering her mother, brother, and nephew in 2008. Especially heartbreaking, however, were her revelations of the close bond she had shared with her slain mother, Darnell Donerson.
According to ABC News, Hudson was overcome with emotion nearly every time she spoke of her mom on the witness stand. She testified that she knew something was wrong on the day of the killings--because she didn't receive her customary text from Donerson that morning. Hudson and her mother in 2008
Hudson and her mother in 2008
Hudson choked on her tears as she described their relationship. "I slept with my mom until I was 16 years old," she told the courtroom. She related how she would sign blank checks and leave them for her mother to use for household bills.
Hudson also recalled the very last time she saw her mother alive; at a family dinner a few days before the tragic crimes took place. She said she remembered the event vividly as her entire family was there--something that didn't happen very often.
"Thank God I got that," Hudson said.
Hudson's confessions probably don't come as a surprise to those who have been following her rise to fame. The streets-to-stardom singer has expressed her closeness to her mother numerous times over the years. Donerson accompanied her daughter to the 2007 Oscars, where Hudson scored a Best Supporting Actress trophy for her role in Dreamgirls. When Donerson took ill in 2008, Hudson stopped all her promotional activities surrounding her debut album and new film The Secret Life Of Bees to be with her mom.
"From what she told me, they did everything together," Dreamgirls acting coach Richard Lyons told People shortly after the murders took place. "Her mom was her rock."
Hudson, who's known for her powerful singing voice, had to be instructed to speak louder on the stand during her 50-minute testimony. At one point a deputy brought the distraught singer a box of tissues and a drink of water.
Hudson was the first witness in the trial of William Balfour, the estranged husband of her sister Julia, who is faced with three counts of first-degree murder. The trial is expected to last about a month. Hudson has pledged to attend every single day.