Jennifer Hudson Forgives Brother-in-Law

Oscar winner opens up to Oprah Winfrey about reaching emotional closure in the 2008 shooting deaths of her family.

By Alexis L. Loinaz
|  Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012  |  Updated 9:09 AM PDT
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Singer Jennifer Hudson spoke to Oprah Winfrey about the death of her mother, brother and nephew.

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Jennifer Hudson may never fully fathom the horrific murders of her mother, brother and nephew at the hands of her estranged brother-in-law, but the Oscar winner reveals that she is now slowly moving toward a place of emotional closure.

During an interview Sunday night with Oprah Winfrey, the 30-year-old said that she forgives William Balfour for the 2008 shooting deaths of her mother, Darnell Donerson, brother Jason Hudson, and 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.

Jennifer Hudson family murder trial: William Balfour gets life in prison

"For the most part, it's not his fault," Hudson explained while appearing on "Oprah's Next Chapter."

"It's what he was taught, how he was brought up."

She also added that Balfour "never had a chance" because of his tough upbringing.

"Had you had the love my mother gave us, or the background that, you know, some have, then you would've stood a chance," she said.

William Balfour found guilty of triple murder

In May, a jury found Balfour, the then-estranged husband of Hudson's sister Julia, guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors argued that Balfour acted in a fit of vengeful rage, first shooting Donerson and Jason in their home and then kidnapping Julian, who was found dead in Jason's stolen SUV three days later.

In July, Balfour was given three consecutive life sentences as well as 120 years for other charges, including home invasion, residential burglary, aggravated kidnapping and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Hudson admitted to Oprah that she hasn't had the courage to visit her family's grave site since the funeral service, but plans to return now that Balfour has been sentenced to life in prison.

"Now I want to go because I feel like, OK, we've accomplished this, we've done this, we got justice for you," she said. "I can't come back here empty-handed. So I came back with justice being served. So now I feel like I deserve to be able to see them."

Celebrity deaths: 2012's fallen stars

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