Rolling Out

Jennifer Hudson reveals her father had 27 children

Hudson shares shocking family secret during podcast appearance
Jennifer Hudson sings at 2023 White House Juneteenth celebration (Photo credit: Mark Mahoney for rolling out)

Jennifer Hudson recently opened up about a surprising and deeply personal family revelation. During an appearance on the “Your Mama’s Kitchen” podcast, the acclaimed “Dreamgirls” star shared that her late father, Samuel Simpson, had 27 children.

Hudson, 42, recounted learning about her father’s extensive family as a teenager. “Apparently he had 27 children,” she told host Michele Norris. “That’s a lot of children. I’ve never met all of them, but that’s the thing. I’m a family person, and so when I turned 16, I’m like, I want to go find, Sam is what we call him, and I want to meet all my siblings.”

Hope for a family gathering

Hudson expressed her dream of having a grand family gathering, saying, “It was my dream to have all of us at this grand Thanksgiving or Christmas table, and we all sit and eat together. That was my goal at 16.”

She explained that she was always told her father had about 11 girls and 17 boys. Initially, she only knew about Samuel’s two children with her late mother, Darnell Donerson: Jason Hudson and Julia Hudson.

Tragically, Hudson’s mother and brother Jason were shot and killed in their Chicago home by Julia’s estranged husband, William Balfour, in October 2008.

Hudson’s complex family

Before Jason’s death, Hudson recalled meeting about six or seven other siblings. “I’m the youngest of all of them,” she added. Raised by her mother, Hudson eventually built a relationship with her father.

Jennifer Hudson is also a mother herself. She shares a 14-year-old son, David Daniel Otunga Jr., with her ex-fiancé David Otunga. The couple was together from 2007 to 2017. She has since moved on and is currently in a relationship with rapper Common.

Jennifer Hudson’s story is a testament to the complexities of family dynamics and the enduring hope for connection and unity.

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