Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée Shayanna Jenkins spoke out about his suicide in her first interview since his death, appearing on the Dr. Phil show. In a two-part episode that aired Monday and Tuesday, Jenkins revealed her doubts about the nature of his death and discussed the details of their relationship.
Hernandez was found hanged by a bed sheet in his prison cell April 19 at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Massachusetts where he was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez had been acquitted of a separate double homicide just days before.
- Jenkins revealed her initial thoughts upon hearing Hernandez had committed suicide. “I thought it was a hoax," she said. “That this was some cruel person playing a trick on me.”
- Jenkins disputed the idea that Hernandez may have been in an intimate relationship with another man while in prison or beforehand. After his death, reports emerged that Hernandez was involved with a man in prison named Kyle Kennedy and had left a suicide note for him. “I had no indication or any feeling that he was such,” she said. “He was very much a man to me. I don’t know where this came from. It’s embarrassing, in a sense. It’s hurtful, regardless if it’s true or not. It’s just not something that I saw. It’s not something that I believe. It’s just not him.”
- Jenkins said she explicitly asked Hernandez about the rumors regarding his sexuality. “I asked him if were true,” she said, adding that he told her “it wasn’t.”
- Jenkins also said the reports were the first time she heard of anyone by the name of Kyle Kennedy. “I’ve never heard of him, honestly. Aaron has never mentioned him.” She said there was no suicide to Kennedy and that Hernandez only left notes for her, their 4-year-old daughter and his lawyers.
- Jenkins expressed doubts that Hernandez had killed himself, citing his suicide note as evidence that something more sinister may have occurred. “I did see that it was addressed to Shay, instead of you know, babe or bae, the way he would refer me as,” she said. “That was a little odd to me.” She added that he seemed to be his “loving self.”
- She said she was not completely certain Hernandez himself had written the suicide note. “[It] was similar,” she said. “But I feel like, again, you have nothing but time in there so I feel like it’s easily duplicated or could be.”
- Jenkins said that the last time she spoke to Hernandez, he sounded upbeat and positive about his chances of being released. “I spoke to him the night before and he was so, you know, ‘Daddy’s going to be home,’ and ‘I can’t wait to sleep in bed with you guys,’ and ‘I can’t wait to just hold you and love you,’” she said. “I just know the feedback that I was getting from our last talk had nothing to do with suicidal thoughts.”
- She revealed the last words Hernandez said to her before his death. “I remember him saying, ‘Babe, I’ve got to go. They’re shutting the doors,’” she said. “And I, honestly, don’t think that we said I love you to each other and that was it. It was just a normal conversation, which makes me doubt so many things.”
- She said she didn’t think he would have killed himself over the possibility of inheriting money. “I don’t know,” she said. “I think anything is a possibility ... I can’t speculate on what he was thinking, or why he may or may not have done it. I don’t believe that would be the cause.”
- Jenkins said she took their 4-year-old daughter to see Hernandez in prison at least once a week. “He was absolutely in love,” she said of Hernandez’s relationship with their daughter. “When we were all together, he was focused on her. It’s kind of like I was just the chaperone, in a sense. When she was there, she took over and she demanded attention.”
- Jenkins said she did not believe Hernandez was actually guilty of the murder of Odin Lloyd, for which he was serving a life sentence when he died. “I truly don’t,” she said. “I’ve said it over and over. He may have been at the wrong place, wrong time, but I don’t think what is said to be out there is actually accurate.”