"This is a horrific tragedy," says Idol judge Abdul after the deaths of the singer's mother, brother and nephew

By People Staff
Updated October 27, 2008 07:05 PM
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Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage; Fitzroy Barrett /Landov

American Idol judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul are sending their condolences to onetime contestant Jennifer Hudson after the singer’s mother, brother and nephew were all found dead.

“This is a horrific tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to Jennifer and her entire family,” Abdul said Monday evening after news broke that police had identified the body of Hudson’s missing 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.

The boy was found in the back of an SUV three days after Hudson’s mother and brother were fatally shot in the mother’s Chicago home.

“The time I had to get to know Jennifer and forge a wonderful friendship with her while she was on Idol was very special to me, and I personally can’t imagine a greater loss for any family.”

Hudson, 27, got her start on American Idol before going on to win an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls.

Cowell also sent a heartfelt message to Hudson, tells Extra, “I was horrified when I heard the news. This is an appalling tragedy. My thoughts right now are with Jennifer, and her family.”