Jennifer Hudson’s Family Tragedy Has Become ‘Cathartic,’ Says Fiance David Otunga (VIDEO)

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Jennifer Hudson had an emotional week — tearing up with young fans and in interviews Tuesday — as she talked about her slain nephew, Julian King, at a charity event in her native Chicago to honor the 7-year-old who was shot in a brutal 2008 family triple killing.

Despite the immense recent personal challenges, Hudson, who is engaged to WWE pro wrestler David Otunga, “is doing very well,” her fiance told Celebuzz at Thursday’s WWE Summerslam kick-off party to celebrate its Be A Star anti-bullying initiative, in Beverly Hills.

Asked how tough the grief process has been, Otunga said Hudson’s family is focusing on the charitable benefit as an opportunity to express itself.

How is Jennifer coping with the family losses?

“It’s more cathartic,” Otunga said.

“It seems like it’s something that the family looks forward to. Because you know what could be a sad day has turned into something very positive. And we look forward to it.”

It has been the first occasions for Hudson and Otunga to speak publicly about the killings since a conviction was reached in May on William Balfour, 31, for killing Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, brother, Jason Hudson, and 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, in 2008.


Balfour was sentenced in July to three life sentences, plus 120 years, behind bars.

Tuesday’s event marked what would have been Julian’s 11th birthday. School supplies were given to young students from poor neighborhoods — in advance of the school year — financed by Julian’s mother, Julia, for the Julian D. King Gift Foundation.

In an interview with, Jennifer Hudson said, “To be able to turn such a negative around and make it a positive thing … That was something my mother always says to me. Like, ‘No matter how negative things are, you find a way to make it positive.’

“Seeing this is like ‘Wow.’ What’s the point of being who you are if you can’t make a difference? If you can’t help someone else?”


The fact that it bears the namesake of a death so close to Hudson still tests her emotions clearly, four years after the slayings.

Said Otunga of the Julian King event, “It was a huge success. We held it at the Ray Kroc [Community] Center. There was a line like seven blocks down the street. It was unbelievable.”

Asked how the tragic experience has affected him — as the husband of a family deeply affected by violence — the pro wrestler of three years and former star of VH-1’s reality show I Love New York — Otunga said he accepts the responsibility of a shoulder to lean on, willingly.

Otunga popped up in the courtroom to support Hudson during the trial, handing her tissues to cry with.

“That’s my role, that’s my job, that’s what I do,” Otunga told Celebuzz. “I’m supportive, and it just comes pretty naturally.”


Hudson took the stand against Balfour in April, tearing up in court, and saying that no one in the family wanted Julia Hudson to marry Balfour.

Balfour was the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister, Julia, and executed a brutal home invasion in which the killings were carried out.

How do you think Jennifer Hudson is handling the pressure?