Jennifer Hudson thanks fans


NEW YORK -- In her first statement since burying her slain mother, brother and nephew, Jennifer Hudson thanked her fans for their encouragement during the tragic ordeal.

"I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," the Oscar-winning actress and singer said in a posting on her MySpace page Thursday evening. "My sister and I take great comfort and strength from your love and concern."

Last week, Hudson buried her mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson; her brother, Jason Hudson, 29; and her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King. The bodies of her mother and brother were found shot on Oct. 24 in the family home in Chicago, while Julian -- who had also been shot -- was found dead in a sport utility vehicle on the city's West Side three days later.

Hudson has been in seclusion since the tragedy.

William Balfour, the estranged husband of her sister Julia Hudson, has been questioned in connection with the killings. He has been held on a parole violation, but has not been charged.

Meanwhile, the Gap unveiled new ads featuring a cheerful-looking Hudson for the clothing company's winter campaign. However, Hudson's publicist, Lisa Kasteler, said the ads were planned months in advance and had gone to print before the killings.