People in the news

By United Press International  |  Jan. 20, 2012 at 4:00 AM
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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

JENNIFER HUDSON; A judge has set an April start date for the trial of William Balfour, who is accused of killing Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew in Chicago in 2008.

Hudson is a former "American Idol" contestant best known for her Oscar-winning performance in the movie musical "Dreamgirls."

Balfour is the estranged husband of her sister, Julia. He was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and home invasion after allegedly shooting Darnell Donerson, 57, Jason Hudson, 29, and Julian King, 7.

E! News said Cook County Judge Charles Burns announced Thursday jury selection for Balfour's trial is to begin April 9, with testimony to begin April 23.

MARK WAHLBERG: Mark Wahlberg acknowledges his recent remarks about how he thinks he would have acted during the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States were "insensitive."

The star of "Contraband" and "The Departed" told Men's Journal he had been scheduled to fly on one of the planes that were hijacked and crashed into New York's World Trade Center.

"If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn't have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, 'OK, we're going to land somewhere safely, don't worry,'" he told the magazine.

After he was criticized for the comments, the actor promptly clarified them, insisting he meant no disrespect to those who died in the terror attacks or their families, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive, it was certainly not my intention," he told TMZ. "To suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible."

JOHNNY DEPP: Participants in an online Harris poll voted film star Johnny Depp America's Favorite Actor.

Denzel Washington and Clint Eastwood tied for the No. 2 slot on the survey, followed by Tom Hanks at No. 4 and the late John Wayne at No. 5.

Rounding out the top tier are George Clooney at No. 6, Sandra Bullock at No. 7, Harrison Ford at No. 8, Will Smith at No. 9 and Adam Sandler at No. 10.

The results were compiled by Harris Interactive after 2,237 adults responded to the online poll Dec. 5-12.

OPRAH WINFREY: A member of U.S. television personality Oprah Winfrey's security team was captured on video shoving a journalist in the Indian town of Vrindavan Thursday.

Winfrey is in India this week shooting footage for "Oprah's Next Chapter," a program on her OWN cable television network.

"There were some complaints from local media about the highhanded attitude of security men accompanying Winfrey, but the matter was amicably resolved," Mathura senior superintendent of police Prem Gautam told the Hindustan Times.

The newspaper did not say whether any charges were filed against the security guard or whether the journalist he pushed was injured.

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