Sep. 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM ET
On Sunday night's "Oprah's Next Chapter," the veteran talk-show host spoke to Jennifer Hudson about the tragedy that struck the entertainer's family four years ago, when Hudson's estranged brother-in-law murdered her mother, brother and nephew. The difficult discussion led to an unexpected revelation from Hudson: Not only has she forgiven William Balfour for killing her loved ones, but she doesn't even hold him completely responsible for his actions.
"For the most part, it's not his fault," Hudson said.
That's a perspective she has despite having attended every day of Balfour's trial for the slayings and despite hearing a judge declare that Balfour has "the heart of an arctic night" and a soul "as barren as dark space."
"It's what he was taught, how he was brought up," Hudson explained.
And it was a far cry from her own upbringing.
"You never had a chance," she said regarding Balfour. "Had you had the love my mother gave us, or the background, you know, that some have, then you would've stood a chance."
That's part of what helped her find forgiveness for the man -- that as well as a lesson she and her sister Julia, who was also present for the interview, learned from their late mother.
"I always say the greatest gift our mother gave us was introducing us to Christ and bringing us up in church," Hudson explained in a bonus clip on Oprah.com. "I feel like that's the base, that's the foundation and that's what keeps me doubtless and grounded and I think of it every day."
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