Is Jennifer Hudson Married or Dating? Who Is the Husband or Boyfriend?

Jennifer Kate is not married and therefore does not have a husband. She has been in two widely known long-term relationships with James Payton and David Otunga, and has also been rumored to be involved in several others.

However, the singer-songwriter, actress, talk show host, and producer is a single mom to her only child, David Daniel Otunga Jr. So who are the men that have caught Jennifer’s eye and could have been recognized as Jennifer Hudson’s husband? Here’s more on that and what her dating life has been like.

Jennifer Hudson’s First Love Was Her Childhood Sweetheart James Payton

Jennifer had a strict Baptist upbringing, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise that her first known relationship happened when she legally became an adult. Jennifer started dating her first boyfriend, James Payton, in 1999 when she was 18 years old. The two grew up together and were childhood sweethearts.

They were together for 9 years before mutually separating in 2007. Since they started dating before Hudson got famous, many speculated that perhaps her rise to fame might have contributed to the crash of the relationship. However, Hudson has refuted these claims saying that although she was the one that called it off, their breakup had nothing to do with her celebrity status.

According to Hudson, ex-boyfriend James Payton is more like family. The Chicago-based maintenance engineer even made an appearance in court over the trial of Jennifer Hudson’s former brother-in-law, William Balfour. In his court testimony, a distraught Payton claimed that Jennifer’s murdered brother Jason sold drugs on the side and also offered financial assistance to him.

Payton has since moved on from his past relationship with Jennifer Hudson. He is in a relationship and is a father.

Jennifer Hudson’s Second Lover, Now Ex-fiancé is  David Otunga 

David Otunga is a Kenyan-American actor, lawyer, commentator, and former professional wrestler. Born on April 7, 1980, the 42-year-old is best known for his wrestling career which saw him as a member of The Nexus and The New Nexus. He later went into acting, appearing in movies like The Call (2013), A Madea Family Funeral (2019), and many more.

Jennifer Hudson met David Otunga on the VH1 reality show I Love New York 2 through a mutual friend. Just seven months after meeting Hudson, Otunga proposed to her on her 27th birthday in 2008. The happiness of the engagement was however short-lived, as Hudson lost her mom, brother, and nephew the next month in a home invasion. Sadly the couple had to put off any wedding plans while Hudson heals from the devastating event.

A year after the proposal, the lovebirds welcomed their son, David Daniel Otunga Jr. The presence of their son seems to have cemented their relationship as they stayed together as a family without officially tying the knot.

In November 2017, fans of the couple were shocked to learn that they have separated and that Jennifer has in fact gotten a protective order against David. This marked the end of their decade-long relationship.

Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga Split Over Allegations of Cheating and Aggressive Behavior

The breakup between Hudson and Otunga came with both sides faulting the other. Otunga accused Hudson of secretly dating music producer Mali Music. Hudson and Mali Music had a close relationship, with both producing songs together. This meant that the two spent a lot of time in the studio, with Otunga claiming she was unreachable at those moments. On one occasion Otunga had to ask his son, who was with Hudson during her studio session, to send him footage of what was going on.

Hudson, on the other hand, accused Otunga of threatening and aggressive behavior towards her and her son. On one occasion, she accused him of rough-handling the boy in an attempt to get him to his room. She also accused him of psychological abuse in an incident involving a gun left out on the Kitchen table in an attempt to taunt her. Otunga has since denied these claims, stating that the gun incident was just a prop gun he used for an audition.

The gradual breakdown of the couple’s relationship saw them living in separate rooms six months before their eventual breakup. With the protective order, Hudson was granted sole custody of their son. However, the order was withdrawn two weeks later and after months of battling it out in court, the couple reached a joint custody parenting agreement.

Jennifer Hudson Has Been Linked Romantically With Several Men

As a beautiful and successful woman, Jennifer Hudson has had her fair share of admirers. It is, therefore, not strange that the she has been romantically linked with different men over the years;

  • After her separation from her first boyfriend, James Payton, Jennifer was linked with New York Jets player, Kerry Rhodes, in 2007.
  • Then in 2017, she was also linked romantically with singer The two had starred together on the U.K. version of The Voice.
  • American music producer, Mali Music ,was also rumored to have been entangled with the singer. Jennifer is an avid fan of Mali Music, whom she had met when she hired him to perform at a party. The pair have recorded a few songs together.
  • Marlon Wayans, Jennifer’s co-star in the 2021 Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” has also been romantically linkedwith the singer due to their amazing on-screen chemistry. Despite their roles as a couple in the movie, they are actually just “besties” in reality. Hudson even sang at Wayans mom’s funeral.
  • In July 2022, Jennifer was spotted at a restaurant in Philadelphia being all cozy and affectionate with her Breathe co-star, Rapper Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn). This sparked rumors that there might be a romantic angle to their relationship. In February 2023 they were again spotted having a meal together in celeb hotspot Nobu, Malibu.

Despite the many rumors of her romantic involvement with several high-profile figures, Hudson has neither publicly confirmed nor refuted these rumors. It is safe to assume that that is all they are for the moment.

Is Jennifer Hudson Still Married?

Jennifer Hudson has never been married before and she is currently single. As to why her two long-term relationships never made it to the altar, Hudson has her Christian values to blame. According to the star, she doesn’t believe in divorce and so wants to be absolutely convinced before taking the plunge. Beautiful Jennifer is, therefore, still waiting for Mr. Right.

Jennifer Hudson Is a Single Mom to Her Son, David Otunga Jr.

Although Hudson is not married, she has a young man occupying her heart and mind; her son David Daniel Otunga Jr. The young man was born on 10 August 2009. Hudson adores her cute son whom she says “saved her” at her darkest moment. Recall that the year before he was born, Hudson had lost her mom, brother, and nephew in a tragic home invasion case by a former brother-in-law, William Balfour.


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