Hudson in-law charged with killing 3 relatives
Chicago — Jennifer Hudson’s brother-in-law was charged with murder Tuesday in the shooting deaths of three of the actress’s family members, including the 7-year-old son of his estranged wife.
William Balfour had been in custody since Oct. 24, when the bodies of Hudson’s mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were discovered in their South Side home. The body of Julian King, Balfour’s stepson and Hudson’s nephew, was found in a sport utility vehicle three days later.
Until Balfour’s arrest in the murder case Monday, police had publicly identified him only as a “person of interest” in the investigation. Balfour, 27, who previously was held on a parole violation, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony home invasion.
Balfour’s attorney said his client is insistent about his innocence.
Jennifer Hudson was a finalist in the 2004 season of “American Idol” and won her Oscar in 2007 for her film debut, a supporting role in “Dreamgirls.” She has mostly stayed out of the spotlight and close to her family since the killings.
Supermodels put in extra workouts for show
New York — Let’s take a moment to savor this little tidbit: Even Victoria’s Secret’s handpicked “angels” ramp up the cardio and cut out the carbs before they parade around in their underwear for a nationally televised broadcast.
Marisa Miller, Doutzen Kroes and Miranda Kerr are the newest models to be given their wings by the lingerie giant, joining Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Selita Ebanks as the brand’s top models.
All three of the newbies had graced the Victoria’s Secret catwalk before but they weren’t fully part of the family until they went to Miami last month for the new runway show spectacle that will be seen on CBS tonight.
There were plenty of jitters as they slipped into their lacy looks.
“I love feeling so sexy and I love to be on this runway, but you’re nervous because it’s lingerie and it’s on TV,” says Kroes, whose outfits include a frothy pink ballerina ensemble and a Greek goddess get-up.
“There are so many people seeing you live, it’s not like a picture when there is Photoshop after.”
To prepare, Dutch 23-year-old beauty Kroes, who says she normally eats what she wants because she exercises often, goes on a strict sugar- and carb-free meal plan and spends many extra minutes a day jumping rope.
“For other fashion shows you can be skinny, but for Victoria’s Secret, you need definition,” Kroes said.
Britney Spears’ traveling ‘Circus’
New York — Britney Spears is taking her “Circus” act on the road.
In an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the pop star announced that her North American arena tour will open March 3 in New Orleans. Her new album, “Circus,” arrived Tuesday, on her 27th birthday.
It is Spears’ first tour in five years as she gains career momentum and stability in her personal life. Spears, who sang her hit “Womanizer” on “GMA,” begins rehearsals next month.
Spears’ 27-city itinerary includes Atlanta, Miami, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She’ll close the tour April 28 in Chicago.
She will jump to London for performances on June 3-4.
Families move into homes that Pitt built
New Orleans — It was a bittersweet moment for Brad Pitt, walking through the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood where families were preparing to spend their first holidays since Hurricane Katrina.
Those families are moving into the first six houses built through Pitt’s Make It Right foundation. One home was already strewn with green garland, lights, wreaths and bows.
Still, Pitt is restless.
“I’m really happy for the families that are going to be here, but I can’t help but think about the families that aren’t,” Pitt said Monday. “It’s a push-pull for me. The excitement is that it’s being proven, that it’s working. The frustration is that we have a long way to go.”
Make It Right was launched by Pitt a year ago. The program calls for construction of 150 energy-efficient homes in a section of New Orleans washed away when Katrina broke levees Aug. 29, 2005.
So far, six homes have been built. Two more are under way, and construction on another 14 begins in early 2009.
Pitt hates paparazzi, talking about his family
New York — Brad Pitt has some strong words for the paparazzi.
In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Pitt said: “Let me be very blunt: I hate them. I hate these people. I don’t understand ... that they do that for a living.”
Pitt said there should be laws against celebrity photographers who “climb over your walls wearing camouflage and calling out your kids’ names as you’re trying to take them to school.”
The actor appeared Tuesday to talk about his humanitarian work in New Orleans, but the conversation turned to his famous family. Pitt said he doesn’t like talking about Angelina Jolie and their six children.
Said Pitt: “It seems to get cheapened somehow as it goes through the filters and the airwaves — and some things you just want to keep close to the chest.”