The tragedy that has befalled Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson's family has prompted an outpouring of public condolences. Everyone from American Idol judge Simon Cowell to presidential candidate Barack Obama have spoken out, offering Jennifer and her sister support and prayers as they deal with the tragic killings of their mother Darnell Donnerson, brother Jason Hudson, and Jennifer's 7-year-old nephew Julian King.
Now, some of Jennifer's closest friends from her American Idol days are commenting on the tragedies. Camile Velasco, the part-Spanish singer who made it with Jennifer to the top 12 of AI Season 3, recalls bonding with Jennifer's mother Darnell.
She tells Access Hollywood, "I met Jennifer's mom when she came to the set in L.A. and I also went to Jennifer's home on the South Side of Chicago during the American Idol tour and spent time with her mom. She was a great lady, real sweet and a great supporter of Jennifer's who was happy and glad for her daughter's success."
Diana DeGarmo, who finished second that season, couldn't believe Hudson's family had been involved in the horrific incident, insisting they were all well liked.
She says, "I was completely shocked and stunned when I heard about this tragedy. I know how important Jennifer's mother and brother were to her.. They were so nice and so pleasant. Jennifer always spoke about her mom, how close they were and how much of a 'big sister' role her mom played in her life."
We're sure Jennifer and her sister Julia are grateful for all the love and support they are getting from friends and fans alike right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hudson family.