Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Jennifer Hudson: Who is her famous ex-fiancé, David Otunga?

The couple called it quits in 2017

Jennifer Hudson: Who is her famous ex-fiancé, David Otunga?

Jennifer Hudson, aka J-Hud, enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom in 2004 when she appeared on the 2004 series of hit show, American Idol.

Over on the silver screen, the talented star received acclaim for her performances in Dreamgirls and Sex and the City. Since then, the singer and actress has appeared at the Super Bowl XLIII, the Grammy Awards and at The Whitehouse.

WATCH: Jennifer Hudson talks how her family members tragic death affected her

Away from the spotlight, the Chicago-born star enjoyed a 10-year relationship with her then-boyfriend, David Otunga. Keep scrolling to discover the ins and outs of Jennifer's rocky relationship…

Who is David Otunga?

Born in 1980, Jennifer's ex is an actor and a former professional wrestler, best known for his time working with WWE. He is also known for finishing as the runner-up on the first season of NXT.

jennifer hudson david smiling© Photo: Getty Images

David is a professional wrestler

Aside from wrestling, the celeb earned himself a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, and later obtained a law degree from Harvard. Following his graduation, he moved to New York City where he became a laboratory manager in Columbia University's Cognitive Neuroscience Center.

MORE:Jennifer Hudson's teenage son is his mom's double in rare video

MORE: Jennifer Hudson's heartbreaking conversation with son David: 'You saved my life'

Elsewhere, David has appeared in a number of films including the likes of The Call, A Madea Family Funeral and What Happened Last Night.

When did David and Jennifer get engaged?

The couple were introduced via a mutual friend on the set of VH1 reality television series, I Love New York (season 2). In 2012, David told Wendy Williams: "She [Jennifer] first noticed me… I started doing a lot of interviews after the show wrapped and made friends with a couple of people. Next thing you know, [a friend of mine] says 'Hey, you should meet my friend Jennifer.'"

jennifer hudson david© Photo: Getty Images

The couple got engaged in 2008

Following a whirlwind romance, David got down on one knee after less than one year of dating. In 2008 the wrestler popped the question on Jennifer's 27th birthday, proposing with a dazzling 5-carat Neil Lane sparkler.

In 2014 she told Wendy Williams she and Otunga were taking "baby" steps. "We will get married one day, but again, my thing is once I get married, I don't believe in divorce. So when I get married, it's for good. We want to be completely sure we're together, we're happy."

jennifer hudson david son© Photo: Getty Images

Jennifer welcomed her son in 2009

Their wedding plans were continuously overshadowed by family tragedy. Hudson's imprisoned ex-brother-in-law, Wilson Balfour, was responsible for the reported deaths of her mother, brother, and nephew.

Do the couple have kids?

One year after their engagement, Jennifer and David welcomed their first child, a son named David Daniel Junior. The duo share an incredibly close bond, and in 2015 the star explained how her son saved her life following the murders of close family members.

MORE: Inside Jennifer Hudson's majestic $3million Chicago megamansion fit for a queen

RELATED: Jennifer Hudson's tragic family past 

jennifer hudson david red carpet© Photo: Getty Images

David and Jennifer at the premiere of Respect

"I went from being an aunt, having a mom, and being a child to not having a mom, becoming a mom, and raising my own child," Jennifer told Glamour magazine. "I tell David all the time, 'You saved my life'."

Why did Jennifer and David split?

The couple called it quits in 2017 after their relationship turned sour. In November, Jennifer filed for a restraining order against her ex, claiming that he had exhibited "aggressive, threatening and harassing behaviour," towards herself and the couple's son.

MORE: Jennifer Hudson remembers late mom in emotional speech as she fights back tears

A statement, which was released to PEOPLE, read: "[Jennifer 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."

jennifer hudson red dress© Photo: Getty Images

Jennifer at the 2021 Met Gala

At the time, David's attorney, Tracy M Rizzo issued a statement which read: "Mr Otunga has never abused or harassed Ms Hudson or their son, and it is unfortunate, especially in today's climate, that she would feel the need to make these false allegations against him."

MORE: Jennifer Hudson opens up about dramatic weight loss and admits she never exercises

In 2017, David was granted primary custody of their son while Jennifer was juggling work commitments across London and Los Angeles. The couple's legal battle concluded in 2019 with a final custody agreement. Details of said agreement have not been disclosed to the public and neither Jennifer nor David have followed up with a statement.

Read more HELLO! US stories here 

More Celebrity News

See more