Aaron Hernandez's Fiancée Addresses Speculations About the Footballer's Sexuality

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Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, fiancée of the late Aaron Hernandez, is speaking out for the first time, addressing speculation surrounding the athlete-turned-convicted killer’s sexuality, which was resurfaced in the Netflix documentary Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.

In an interview with ABC News anchor Amy Robach that first aired on Good Morning America, Jenkins-Hernandez said that Hernandez did not ever express to her that he was gay or bisexual. But if he did, she “would not have loved him any differently.”

“You can’t describe someone’s sexuality without them being here," Jenkins-Hernandez said. “Although I have a child with Aaron, I still can’t tell you how he was feeling inside. No one can.”

Released in mid-January, Killer Inside chronicles the rise of a gifted young athlete who became a household name for being involved in what is considered the most “infamous murder case involving an American athlete since O.J. Simpson.” 

In 2013, after signing a five-year, $40 million contract with the New England Patriots, Hernandez was charged for the murder of Odin Lloyd. While on trial, he was also indicted for the double homicide of two Boston-area men. While he was acquitted of the latter, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in the Odin case and sentenced to serve life in prison, where he eventually took his own life.

The three-part series also raises questions about the athlete’s sexuality, with a former friend and teammate, Dennis Sansoucie, claiming he and Hernandez engaged in a sexual relationship in high school. It also recounts how Hernandez’s sex life was investigated during his murder trial and was potentially going to be used against him.  

Jenkins-Hernandez, who was not interviewed for the documentary, first started dating the football player in 2007. They got engaged in 2012 and have one daughter, Avielle. 

Despite the docuseries’ claims, Jenkins-Hernandez said her late fiancé was “certainly a man to me. There was no behavior that made me think differently.” However, she does have compassion for anyone struggling with their sexual identity. “You start to feel for people that may be hiding inside how they really feel,” she told ABC News. “I feel awful for that.”

If Hernandez was not straight or was hiding his sexuality, “I wish that I -- I was told,” she said. “And I wish that he -- you know, he would’ve told me because I wouldn’t -- I would not have loved him any differently. I would have understood. It’s not shameful, and I don’t think anybody should be ashamed of who they are inside, regardless of who they love. I think it's a beautiful thing, I just wish I was able to tell him that.”

The day after Killer Inside debuted on Netflix, Jenkins-Hernandez took to Instagram to say she was taking a break from social media. “I wanted to let all of you sweet sweet souls know I have tried to read every message sent on IG and through email (positive and negative),” she wrote at the time. “The amount of support and positive energy is again unreal! I'm sure you will all understand how imperative it is to take some time away from social media.”

Shortly following Hernandez's death, Jenkins-Hernandez sat down with Dr. Phil to discuss their relationship and their last conversation before his shocking suicide. “I felt like we were looking so bright," she said at the time. “We were going up a ladder to a positive direction.”

 

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