Recalling the murders of her mother and brother in 2008, singer-actress Jennifer Hudson has revealed she might have been in her mother's South Side Chicago house that day as well -- were it not for a fateful decision to visit her fiancé in Florida.
WWE wrestler David Otunga -- who became engaged to Hudson on her 27th birthday, just six weeks before the Oct. 24, 2008, shooting deaths of Darnell Donerson, 57, and Jason Hudson, 29 -- "wanted me to come out to Florida with him instead of going to Chicago," Hudson says in the December/January issue of Ebony. "I flew out to see him; that's why I'm still here."
The Grammy- and Academy Award-winner told the magazine, "That's one of the things that saved my life, because I could have been home with my mom then." She said Otunga, 31, "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.' "
A still-shaken Hudson told the magazine, "I've never said that before, and I can't believe I just said that now."
Hudson's 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, was kidnapped from Donerson's home the day of the murders and found dead in an SUV three days later. William Balfour, 27, the estranged husband of the singer's sister Julia, was indicted Dec. 30, 2008, for all three killings. He was on parole at the time after having served seven years in prison for attempted murder and vehicular hijacking. Balfour is being held at the Cook County Jail and is next due in court Dec. 8. He is expected to stand trial in February.
In the interview, Hudson also revealed she and Otunga, with whom she had son David Daniel Otunga Jr. in August 2009, had set a wedding date before the tragic deaths.
She also dismissed claims that the two have not yet married because of prenuptial-agreement issues.
"I don't know where that came from, because that's not the issue at all," she said. "I thought that was so random. Even if that were the case, it wouldn't be something we would discuss."