Jennifer Hudson dumps hometown boyfriend for NY Jets football player

Oscar winner and former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson has been outspoken about the fact that she has a longterm boyfriend who is an average guy she can depend on. She thanked her boyfriend back home in Chicago during her Oscar acceptance speech. She also said in an interview with Giant Magazine this February that James Peyton, her boyfriend of eight years, was “her rock” and that he “supports her dreams” and that “she couldn’t ask for anything more.”

There was a story this spring that Jennifer promised to marry James if she won an Oscar, and that, true to her word, they were going to tie the knot by New Year’s of this year. James’ career was listed as “maintenance engineer,” but the fact that he was of meager means didn’t seem to bother Jennifer. She went on about him, saying that “it makes more sense for me to date somebody outside of show biz.” and that he’s a “patient, understanding man who’s there for me when I get home. He’s home to me.”

It looks like Hudson is ready to leave home. She’s dumped James in favor of NY Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, who can provide a mansion instead of third floor walkup. He is “outside of show biz,” technically, although he has graced the covers of several entertainment-related magazines, has a publicist, and will appear in two upcoming films. The National Enquirer reports this like Jennifer and James parted amicably, and they could have, but it sounds to me like she didn’t have any time for him once she got famous. It could be true that she’s dating Rhodes as they were photographed out together:

[Jennifer Hudson] traded the Chicago maintenance engineer for New York Jets football player Kerry Rhodes.

“It’s bittersweet for Jennifer because the last thing she wanted to do was break up with James,” revealed a family insider.

“They dated since they were teenagers, but then she got her big break. All of a sudden she was gone a lot, their interests changed and everyone was after her for interviews and work…”

“They both hoped one day she would be famous, but they didn’t realize how difficult the lifestyle would be. So he wished her well and went back to his quiet life in Chicago…”

“Jennifer and James still love one another.”

“With Jennifer’s new schedule, they were barely together anyway. Instead of trying to maintain a long-distance relationship, they decided to end it.”

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, November 19, 2007]

This story is also corroborated by In Touch, which says they’re dating. They quote a “source” which says “A friend introduced Jen and Kerry about a month ago. It’s really sweet right now.” [From In Touch, print edition, November 19, 2007]

Kerry Rhodes does seem like a decent guy. The main reason the football hunk was featured on the cover of Essence magazine this August was because of his charitable Rhodes Foundation, which “supports the educational and financial advancement of young people in underserved high schools nationwide.”

Maybe Hudson will learn to keep her feelings close to her ample chest this time so her words don’t come back to bite her.

Here’s Hudson not looking like a stuck up diva or anything on 11/9/07 at the Out 100 Awards. Thanks to PRPhotos.

Update: Hudson and her longterm boyfriend are back together and were seen together shortly after this. They may have either separated briefly or never parted. Many people pointed out that I was unnecessarily harsh to Hudson and that it was unfair to blame the breakup on any selfishness on her part because people split for all sorts of reasons. I do have a poor opinion of her based on her comments about gay people, and think that she’s full of herself. This post was unfair, though, and I’m sorry for that.

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