CHICAGO — Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson broke down in tears Monday while testifying at the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in a jealous rage four years ago.

Hudson was the first witness called after prosecutors and attorneys for William Balfour finished their opening statements. During her testimony, she told jurors her family didn’t want her sister to marry Balfour and she spoke about the last time she saw her family members.

Balfour has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the October 2008 slayings.

During opening statements, prosecutor Veryl Gambino said Balfour began threatening to harm the family after moving out of Hudson’s family home. Balfour’s divorce from Julia Hudson was finalized last year.

Defense Attorney Amy Thompson offered another take on the killings, saying police pinned them on Balfour because they felt pressured to make an arrest.

Lead prosecutor James McKay has said that the day before the attack, which was Julia Hudson’s birthday, he told her, “If you ever leave me, I’m going to kill you, but I’m going to kill your family first.”

Prosecutors say Balfour became enraged by balloons he saw at the home that he thought were from Julia Hudson’s new boyfriend. She told investigators that on the day of the killings, she saw Balfour linger behind as she was driving off from home to her job as a school bus driver.

Prosecutors say Balfour used a .45-caliber handgun to kill Hudson’s mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, in the living room, and then shot her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed. He allegedly drove off in Jason Hudson’s SUV with Julia Hudson’s son, Julian King. Authorities say he shot the boy in the head as he lay behind a front seat.

O’Connor cancels tour due to illness

NEW YORK — Sinead O’Connor says she is canceling her 2012 tour due to her bipolar disorder.

The singer made the announcement Monday in a posting on her website.

O’Connor wrote on the website that she is “very unwell” and had been advised by her doctor to not hit the road after her “very serious breakdown between December and March.”

In December, O’Connor announced her split from therapist Barry Herridge after 16 days of marriage.

The Irish singer-songwriter is best known for the early 1990s hit “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Her latest album – “How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?” – was released in February.

Former ‘ER’ star Wyle arrested during protest

WASHINGTON — Former “ER” star Noah Wyle and about 100 members of the group ADAPT were arrested Monday during a Capitol Hill protest to urge Congress not to cut Medicaid.

Many of the protesters were in wheelchairs. They’re the ones who would be hurt most by any Medicaid cuts, Wyle said.

“Those cuts would reduce the hours of home health care aides being able to come in and give basic services, which would force people to basically give up their right to live in integrated, portable, accessible housing and put them in an institution,” he said.

Wyle, who played young Dr. John Carter on the long-running show, said that’s a “very short-sighted economic decision because it costs up to four times as much to have somebody in an institution than it does to have them require some hourly assistance every day.”

Not only that, Wyle pointed out that people with disabilities would be taken away from their families and their jobs. So, he said, it’s not really a medical issue, it’s more of a civil rights issue.

Wyle now plays the lead character in TNT’s science fiction series, “Falling Skies.”