Geraldo Rivera Opens Up About Investigating Family Tragedies of Jennifer Hudson and More Stars

For his latest venture, Geraldo Rivera decided to investigate some of the most high-profile family tragedies in Hollywood.

“I’ve been fascinated with the anatomy of criminal acts my entire career,” the TV host, 75, told Us Weekly exclusively. “I remember going back to Robert Stack and Unsolved Mysteries when he walked with his trench coat and fog, and now you have so many of the programs. … It’s become a whole sub-genre.”

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera Us Weekly

Enter Geraldo Rivera’s Murder in the Family. The reporter’s upcoming Reelz series takes a deep dive into the darkest hours in the lives of celebrities including Jennifer Hudson, Dylan McDermott and Kelsey Grammer.

“Jennifer Hudson is the spectacular first episode of the series,” he told Us. “Everybody saw her basically growing up [on American Idol]. Dreamgirls was such a tremendous breakthrough. What a voice she had. And you look at her, you envy her trajectory, and then you hear this awful story of her sister marrying a bum and an abhorrent personality who then turns on the family, slaughters everybody. It’s just one of those stories where you say, ‘Oh, my God, how does she survive it? How does she go on with her career?’”

In 2008, the 37-year-old singer’s mom, Darnell Donerson, and brother Jason Hudson were fatally shot in Chicago. Days later, Jennifer’s nephew Julian King was also found dead. Her sister Julia Hudson’s estranged husband, William Balfour, was convicted of all three murders and sentenced to prison.

“We are telling people exactly how this came to be,” Rivera told Us. “How did this abhorrent conduct come to effect in such a dark, negative way in the life of someone who is otherwise living so glamorous?”

For more about Rivera’s investigations into McDermott and Grammer’s family tragedies, watch the video above.

Geraldo Rivera’s Murder in the Family premieres on Reelz on Saturday, November 3, at 9 p.m. ET.

Reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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