Oscar and Grammy winning singer/actress Jennifer Hudson was the first witness called at the murder trial of her former brother-in-law William Balfour, who is charged with the brutal shooting deaths of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in October 2008.
Hudson testified that she has known Balfour for two decades but never liked him, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
Balfour, a drug dealer who attended grade school with Jennifer Hudson, was never well-liked in the Hudson family, according to the actress. She even said she warned her sister against marrying Balfour, but they wed secretly in a ceremony only Julian attended.
"None of us — myself, my mother, or my brother — we did not like how he treated her, and I didn’t like how he treated my nephew," Jennifer Hudson testified, her voice wavering.
In a black dress, small studs in her ears and a bare face, the actress was called to testify about the last time she saw her family alive. They gathered in her Chicago home. Her mother and brother flanked her as she played the piano, her nephew hunkered in a corner reading a book. Even her brother’s dog, Dreamgirl, joined them, Jennifer Hudson said, tears in her eyes: "It was us being family." The next time she saw them, they were lying in the Cook County morgue.
Hudson testified that she was so close to her mom, they slept together until she was 16 years old. After she become famous, Hudson said she would sign blank checks and leave them for her mother for household bills.
Prosecutors say Balfour was estranged from Jennifer's sister Julia Hudson at the time of the killing spree. On October 24, 2008, the Hudson's 57-year old mother was found at the family home in a pool of blood. Their 29-year-old brother Jason was shot twice in the head as he lay in bed. Seven-year-old Julian King, Julia's son from a previous relationship, was found three days later.
Hudson has vowed to attend every day of the trial, which is expected to last several weeks. Watch ABC News' report WHEN YOU JUMP ...