When Jennifer Hudson went on Oprah’s show on Sunday and said that she has managed to forgive the man who murdered her family, it was a remarkable testament to her courage and the largeness of the human spirit.
Even though her brother-in-law William Balfour had murdered her mother, her brother and her 7-year-old nephew, Hudson told Oprah that in some ways she doesn’t blame him for the person he became.
“I feel like, for the most part, it’s not his fault. It’s what he was taught. How was brought up. We tried to offer love, but he was so far gone, he couldn’t even see that. A lot of things came out [during the trial] that we didn’t even know about from his upbringing. . . He never had a chance. He never had a chance,” Hudson said. “Had he had the love that my mother gave us, or the background that some have, then he would have stood a chance. How could your heart not go out to that?”
Balfour, 31, was sentenced to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole for the 2008 murders. Hudson said the conviction and July 24 sentencing now gives her the peace of mind to visit the grave sites of her family members.
“I haven’t been to the grave site since we buried them, but now I want to go because I feel like, ‘Okay, we’ve accomplished this. We’ve done this. We got justice for you. We can’t come back here empty handed,’” Hudson said. “So now I feel like I deserve to be able to see them.”
Hudson said she felt so many things when the judge sentenced Balfour in July.
“There was definitely a celebration because he’s off the streets,” she said. “My child [David, Jr., 3] is going to be safe.”
Hudson told Oprah she feels closure now,but will be forever haunted by the tragedy.
“I remember one time when William had an argument with my sister. They had split up he went up to her job and he told her, ‘I’m gonna take Julian,’” Hudson said. “And Julian went home and told my mother, and my mother said, ‘Over my dead baby.’ That’s exactly what happened.”