Jennifer Hudson, The Voice coach, former American Idol finalist and Oscar-winning actress, has not had a public relationship with anyone since she and her long-term fiancé split in 2017, though reports earlier this year linked her to her The Voice UK colleague, Will.i.am. Hudson’s “Team Jennifer” will be competing for the season 15 champion title December 17 and 18 on NBC.
After a 10-year relationship with her ex-fiancé, professional wrestler David Otunga, things ended messily in 2017. Though they were engaged for almost all of that relationship and had a son together, they were never married. E! News reported that in the midst of their split, Hudson obtained a protective order against him, saying that “Otunga showcased ‘increasingly aggressive, threatening and harassing behavior’ toward her and their son as their relationship broke down and accused him of mental and physical abuse.” Hudson’s reps sent a statement to Billboard, in which they said “Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga have been in the process of ending their relationship for a number of months. Today, Jennifer requested and received a protective order against her ex-fiancé. Jennifer’s actions are solely taken in the best interest of their son. Please respect her privacy at this time.” In response, Otunga’s lawyer told TMZ that Otunga denied all of the allegations, asserting that “At no time did Mr. Otunga ‘physically push’ Ms. Hudson as she has alleged.” According to TMZ, a major source of conflict for the ex-couple was custody over their son, David Jr., who was 8 years old at the time.
TMZ reported that the trigger for Hudson’s split from Otunga were accusations that she cheated on him with music producer Mali Music. They say she became friends with Mali Music after she hired him for a party, after which the two started making music together in-studio. Celebrity Insider reported that Hudson and her son were in the recording studio with Mali the night Otunga was removed from their home by police, the altercation that caused Hudson to file for the order against him. They also say that Hudson “Otunga asked their son to record the session on his phone as evidence of her cheating ways.” Rumors of the affair were not publicly addressed beyond Otunga’s initial claims.
In January, Hollywood Life reported that Hudson was linked to her then-colleague, fellow The Voice UK coach Will.i.am. Their report was based on rumors sparked by Life & Style of a casual relationship between the two, after the magazine reported that a source told them “What Jennifer loves about Will is that he understands the demands of an entertainment career and Will always told Jennifer she deserves to be with a man who appreciates her talent and beauty.” If anything romantic was happening between the two, it was never made public. Hollywood Life even said that “it seems unlikely that she would spark up a romance on set of The Voice.”
Watch Jennifer Hudson’s finalist, Kennedy Holmes, compete in the finale tonight and tomorrow at 8pm ET on NBC. If Holmes wins, Gold Derby reports that she will be Hudson’s first win and the youngest winner on the show to date.