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Jennifer Hudson Testifies

4/24/2012, 3:09 p.m.

Jennifer Hudson fought back tears April 23 during opening testimony in the case William Balfour, who is accused with murder in the deaths of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew four years ago in Chicago.

When handed a photo of her mother, the Grammy and Oscar winner broke down in tears. She said the family never like Balfour, who was married to her sister Julia Hudson --mother of the slain child. Julia and Balfour are divorced.

"Where he was, I tried not to be. So if I saw him, I separated myself," Hudson was quoted as saying of Balfour.

While both sisters have suggested that Balfour had been violent toward Julia, a clear motive for the murders has not been revealed. However, Julia who also testified Monday, indicated that jealousy had always been an issue.

According to Julia, her former husband became jealous when she got gifts from other people, including her son, who was told not to kiss his mother. Balfour's nickname for the middle school student was "the little monster," Julia said.

Reports state that Balfour had threatened several times to kill members of Hudson's family, and that had Hudson not joined David Otunga, (who has since become her fiance) on a trip to Florida, she might have been at the family's home when her mother and brother were killed. Police believe Hudson's nephew was abducted from the home and murdered.

According to the Chicago Tribune News:

Dressed all in black and wearing little make-up, the Academy Award-winning actress struggled at times to maintain her composure during a half an hour on the witness stand.

Her voice cracked as she described how no one in the family wanted her sister, Julia, to marry Balfour.