Presidential-hopeful Barack Obama and Queen Latifah have joined the ranks of supporters who have reached out with messages of prayers for Jennifer Hudson, following the loss of her mother and brother.
Stars, friends and fans reached out to the Oscar winner, after her brother, Jason, and mother Darnell Donerson, were found dead on Friday of gunshot wounds. Her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, is currently missing.
“Michelle and I were absolutely heartbroken to learn about this unimaginable tragedy, and we want Jennifer and to know that she is in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time,” Senator Obama, who is based in the actress’ native Chicago, said in a statement to Access Hollywood. “We also pray for the swift and safe return of her young nephew.”
The senator has personal experience with the “Dreamgirls” Oscar winner as she sang the National Anthem at the Democratic National Convention, where he was formally named the party’s nominee.
Jennifer’s “The Secret Life of Bees” co-star Queen Latifah also had comforting words for her friend, telling Access on Saturday that she hoped friends and fans would offer “all the support” she needs.
“When we heard the news of Jennifer losing her mother and her brother, our hearts broke for her and we immediately began to pray for her strength and comfort and that of her family, as well as for the safe return of her nephew,” she told Access. “I know the family is devastated and heartbroken and I hope that friends and fans and those who care about her just pray for her and give her all the support that she needs at this moment and for quite a long time to come.”
“It’s such a sad thing and my heart goes out to Jennifer Hudson right now because you know something tragic that has happened to her,” Fergie told Access at the “Madagascar 2” junket on Sunday. “I just feel horrible. Things happen in life and you really have to just stop and really consider what’s valuable to you.”
“It’s sad news to hear,” Cedric the Entertainer, also at the “Madagascar 2” junket, told Access on Sunday. “It’s extremely tragic and you hate to hear those kinds of things, but I definitely, definitely want to send prayers out to ask that they release the little boy right now… I want those who have him to let him go, let him be back with his family and I definitely send my prayers out to her… you just never want to hear something like that to happen to anybody.”
And Sherri Shepherd, who saw Jennifer just weeks ago when she appeared on “The View,” offered a inside look at the singer-actress’ close relationship with her mother.
“She was just on ‘The View’ last week or the week before and she was saying how her fiancé … asked her mother for her hand in marriage,” Sherri told Access on Sunday. “She talked about it backstage, how close she was to her family, so we’re just sending so many prayers Jennifer’s way. I don’t even know what to say, we are just so feeling for Jennifer whatever she needs from us.”
“It’s so tragic to happen like this at this time in her life,” Holly Robinson Peete told Access on Sunday, mentioning the success of Jennifer’s debut album and her recent engagement to David “Punk” Otunga. “She’s on top of the charts. She’s got engaged. I mean, it’s all happening now. There’s never a good time for anything like this to happen, but right now just the contrast, the emotions, is too much.”
Even more prayers came from Sarah Jessica Parker, who starred with Jennifer in “Sex and the City.”
“My heart goes out to her and her family in their time of anguish and grief,” Sarah said in a statement to Access Hollywood on Saturday. “I pray for the safe return of her nephew.”
Jennifer herself has flown home to Chicago, according to reports, and has called upon her friends and fans for further support.
“Please keep praying for our family and that we get Julian King back home safely,” she wrote on her MySpace Celebrity Blog on Sunday, in a letter signed by the Hudson family.