12:00 PM EDT, April 9, 2012
She has a new music video, a new body, and on Thursday she's scheduled to return to the show that launched her career—American Idol.
But Jennifer Hudson is also being forced to relive the bleakest moment of her life. It's the trial of the man accused of murdering her mother, brother and nephew, who was just seven years old. Two of the bodies were found at the Hudson family home on Chicago's south side, where Hudson grew up.
Jury selection kicks into high gear today in Chicago and the court is loaded with questions about Jennifer Hudson, including: "Have you ever watched American Idol?" and "Have you ever seen the movie Dreamgirls?"
Court TV's Beth Karras said, "It's important to find out of there are any jurors who are real ardant fans of Jennifer Hudson. Maybe they wouldn't be the best jurors, they wouldn't be impartial. Then, maybe there are some who don't like her for whatever reason, and you don't want them either."
Defendant William Balfour was the estranged husband of Hudson's sister, Julia. He pled not guilty to charges that he shot the victims after cops say he learned that his wife was dating another man.
Balfour's lawyers asked the judge to sign an order for a haircut in jail, so he could look his best for the trial.
Jennifer Hudson is expected in court everday and is on a list of 300 potential witnesses.
Karras said, "It's important for Jennifer Hudson to be there, as it is for any family member of someone who was murdered. They're there for the victim. They're there for their loved one. They're there to show that they care and they want to see justice."