CHICAGO -- Jennifer Hudson arrives each day at the trial of the man accused of killing three of her close family members with her personal bodyguards in tow. She uses a secret entrance to elude photographers, eats in private and waits for proceedings to start in normally off-limits judge’s chambers.
The Oscar winner, recently named one of the world’s 50 most beautiful women by People magazine, slips from the courtroom during particularly gory testimony.
Do the accommodations for the actress and singer add up to special star treatment?
"Absolutely not," said Irv Miller, a judge’s liaison at the trial, which is into its second full week.
Most accommodations, he insisted, are courtesies routinely extended to victims having to endure the grim ordeal of sitting through a murder trial. Others, he conceded, are necessary because Hudson is a celebrity.
"Star status means things have to be a little different," he said. "You just can’t have a celebrity walk ing about, going to the cafeteria -- people running up to ask for autographs."
The only recent examples of stars at Chicago’s criminal courts building were the 2008 child pornography trial of R&B singer R. Kelly and talk-show host Oprah Win frey serving on a jury in a 2005 murder case.
Hudson, 30, has appeared in court each day since testimony began last week, and is expected to attend each day until it ends.