Though Jennifer Hudson has long refrained from talking in detail about the 2008 murders of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, the Oscar winner finally revealed the simple twist of fate that literally saved her life.
Hudson says her fiance, pro wrestler David Otunga, suggested she visit him in Florida the weekend of the killings.
"That's one of the things that saved my life, because I could have been home with my mom then," Hudson told Ebony. Otunga "wanted me to come out to Florida with him instead of going to Chicago."
While Hudson was in Florida, Her 57-year-old mother Darnell Donerson and brother Jason Hudson were gunned down. Nephew Julian King, reported missing in the wake of the shootings, was found dead the following Monday in the back of an SUV. Jennifer immediately went into hiding.
"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," she said. "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."
William Balfour, a love interest of Jennifer's sister Julia, was arrested in December 2008 and faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion. After years of continuances, a judge said last week that the case will be tried in February.
-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Jennifer Hudson arrives at the Swarovski Elements Rodeo Drive Lighting Ceremony in Beverly Hills on Monday. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press