- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hudson suspect confesses

William Balfour, who was arrested Monday in the killings of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson’s family members, has admitted the shootings to someone else, law-enforcement sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mr. Balfour, 27, is suspected in the Oct. 24 murders of Miss Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57; the star’s brother, Jason Hudson, 29; and her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King. Miss Donerson and Mr. Hudson were found shot to death in the family home, while Julian’s body was discovered in a sport utility vehicle three days later.

Police reportedly have built a solid but circumstantial case against Mr. Balfour, the newspaper said. Mr. Balfour, Miss Hudson’s estranged brother-in-law, reportedly told someone about the killings, and a witness has linked him to the SUV, sources told the Sun-Times.

Police also found a .45-caliber pistol in bushes near the place where the SUV was parked, and the gun was linked to the murders through ballistics tests. The gun is believed to have belonged to Mr. Hudson, whose two-toned Sig Sauer .45-caliber handgun was missing from his home for several months, sources said.

One of Mr. Balfour’s girlfriends told authorities that he was carrying a gun that looked like the handgun used in the slayings, officials said.

Spirit taps Hathaway

Anne Hathaway’s family drama “Rachel Getting Married,” the border-smuggling tale “Frozen River,” and the Deep South saga “Ballast” lead nominees for the Spirit Awards with six nominations each, including best picture, Associated Press reports.

Other best-picture nominees announced Tuesday: Michelle Williams’ down-on-her-luck drama “Wendy and Lucy” and Mickey Rourke’s broken-down athlete tale “The Wrestler.”

Miss Hathaway and Miss Williams have lead-actress nominations, along with Melissa Leo for “Frozen River,” Summer Bishil for “Towelhead” and Tarra Riggs for “Ballast.”

Mr. Rourke has a best-actor nomination along with Javier Bardem for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Richard Jenkins for “The Visitor,” Sean Penn for “Milk” and Jeremy Renner for “The Hurt Locker.”

The awards honor independent film.

High note for Callas

A plaque honoring opera legend Maria Callas was set to be unveiled Tuesday at the Manhattan hospital where she was born - on what would have been her 85th birthday.

The opera diva and longtime love of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis was born to Greek parents in 1923 at what then was Flower Hospital. The hospital merged with other institutions over the years and is now the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, AP said.

Miss Callas’ mother took her back to Greece, where she trained and performed before her professional life took her all over the world. She died in Paris in 1977.

Moss, beau trade blows

Kate Moss has come clean about who gave her the scratches she recently sported on her cheek: boyfriend and Kills guitarist Jamie Hince.

The supermodel previously claimed a box of Christmas decorations had fallen on her head, but Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reports she was overheard at a London party for designer Stella McCartney admitting that she actually was involved in a “scuffle” with Mr. Hince over their holiday plans. Mr. Hince, for his part, was left with a black eye, which Miss Moss says was caused by her “chunky ring.”

Royal performance

Live from the palace, it’s Condi Rice on piano!

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice performed in a quintet Monday night for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

According to AP, Miss Rice played Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quintet, opus 34, with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s wife, Louise, on violin, and three members of the London Symphony Orchestra.

The queen gave Miss Rice, a classically trained pianist, an audio recording of the performance as a gift.

Miss Rice had expressed a wish to play at the palace, AP said.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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