Another Celebrity Split: What We Can Learn From JHud’s Broken Engagement

Jennifer Hudson got engaged to David Otunga in 2008

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Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga welcomed their son in 2009, David Otunga Jr., a year after they got engaged. (Michael Kovac/Getty Images for March of Dimes)

Jennifer Hudson once said her fiancé David Otunga “ain’t going nowhere.” But things have shifted and now the pair has ended their 10-year-relationship.

Plus, in just a matter of months, things have quickly turned ugly.

Hudson took out a protective order against Otunga and his lawyer alleges it’s a ploy to ensure she gets primary custody of their 8-year-old son, David Daniel Otunga Jr., People magazine reported Friday, Nov. 17.

“David Otunga has been trying to negotiate the terms of an amicable parenting agreement with Ms. Hudson for several weeks now,” said Otunga’s, attorney Tracy M. Rizzo, in a statement. “However, when it became apparent to Ms. Hudson that Mr. Otunga would be the parent granted residential care of the child, as a result of Mr. Otunga being the child’s primary caregiver while Ms. Hudson pursues her career all over the world, Ms. Hudson decided to file a meritless Petition for Order of Protection in an effort to gain an unfair advantage in the custody dispute.”

A day earlier, the singer’s rep told the publication that the couple has been in the “process of ending their relationship for a number of months.” The statement added that Hudson had taken a protective order “solely … in the best interest of their son.”

In documents obtained by TMZ, Hudson alleges Otunga exhibited “aggressive, threatening and harassing behavior toward me. I am now living in fear of further action David might take.”

On one occasion, she said Otunga grabbed their son by the hand and pushed Hudson out of the way, which David Jr. and a makeup artist witnessed, according to documents.

Hudson also alleged Otunga left a gun holster on the counter even though he “knows that I am and have been very sensitive to firearms after my mother and my brother were murdered by a firearm,” she said.


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“I believe that he left it out to taunt, intimidate and frighten me, which he absolutely accomplished.”

The order of protection, which caused cops to remove Otunga from their home, gives the “The Voice” coach “exclusive possession of their residence and orders David to stay away from her and their son,”  TMZ reported.

However, Otunga’s lawyer claimed the order was made to “portray herself as the victim,” adding that his client has never harassed or abused his ex-fiancée.

The split is surprising considering the couple was engaged for a decade. But celebrity marriage coach Hasani Pettiford of Couples Academy points to the heavy influence of outside forces on high-profile relationships.

“I think there’s something called the Hollywood curse when it comes to love and commitment,” he said. “There’s [sic] so many external factors that can compromise the integrity of the relationship, and so a lot of people either don’t get married or if they do, something happens quickly within that five to seven year period. … I think there’s a fear of commitment, a fear of settling down.”

Hudson’s broken engagement comes on the heels of another celebrity breakup. “Friends From College” star Keegan Michael Key finalized his divorce from his wife of 20 years, giving him the go-ahead to marry his new fiancé, according to TMZ.

And in a split that’s looking nastier than Hudson’s and Otunga’s, Jill Scott was granted a restraining order against her husband, Mike Dobson last week. Dobson told Bossip Thursday, Nov. 16  he now plans to file a response to the order and after deeming her an “evil woman” he vowed not to speak negatively about her in public any longer.

“Jill and I collectively have three children involved here,” Dobson said through his attorney. “And for the sake of their privacy and dignity, I would just ask all parties involved not to comment, say mean things and to please respect my individual privacy, her privacy and our children, who have to read all of these comments and statements.”

Pettiford said he thinks the reason for celebrity divorces is because stars are used to focusing on themselves.

“And now you have to become marriage minded and consider somebody else,” he said. “And some people, though we love the idea of being in love, we love the idea of marriage and commitment, it’s not as glossy and romantic as we perceive it to be and so, as a result, relationships crumble.”

Regarding Jennifer Hudson’s case, Pettiford, who has not counseled the singer, said he’d tell her to take a moment to reflect on her relationship and figure out what she wants to do in her life.

“I tell people all the time, when you’re being led by your emotions, the best decisions you can make is no decision at all,” he said. “You want to make sure you’re using a sound mind and reasoning when you’re making decisions because once you make them, it’s hard to take those back.”

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