Jennifer Hudson has radically changed her image by dropping more than 80 pounds as a Weight Watchers spokeswoman, but she can’t seem to land a seven-figure book deal.
The Oscar- and Grammy-winning actress/singer and her William Morris agent, Mel Berger, have been shopping a book proposal to major publishers for four years about Hudson’s weight struggle and her eventual transformation from a size 16 to 6.
But while Hudson’s weight struggle and self-help tips are marketable, sources say because of her $1 million-plus demand for the deal, publishers are holding out for the full story about her coping with the horrific slaying of her family.
Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donnerson, her older brother, Jason, and her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, were killed in October 2008, allegedly by her brother-in-law, William Balfour, who was indicted for murder.
Hudson has rarely commented on the tragedy. During a February appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show, she struggled to speak about it and started crying as she said, “My mother right now would say to me, ‘Why are you always crying? Stop crying. You’ve got to keep going.’ ”
Sources say the 29-year-old “Dreamgirls” star met with a prominent newsmagazine journalist last December to discuss penning a memoir about the tragedy. But she backed out after the meeting, telling our source, “It’s just too soon.”
Another publishing insider told us: “It was disappointing. Her book about her diet is really appealing and wonderful. But if you spend a lot of money on the book deal, you want it to sell. With no talk of her family, we didn’t think it was worth it.”
Multiple publishing houses have made bids on the weight-loss book, but no publisher yet has met the asking price, the insider added. Hudson’s rep told us, “I have no further comment, but your reporting is accurate.