Aaron Hernandez's Fiancee Shayanna Jenkins Tearfully Opens Up About His Death: 'I Thought It Was a Hoax'
By Jennifer Drysdale
Shayanna Jenkins initially couldn't believe that her fiance, Aaron Hernandez, was found dead in prison.
In a new promo for her appearance on Dr. Phil next week, Jenkins breaks her silence on the NFL star's suicide while he was serving a life sentence for murdering Odin Lloyd, revealing that she thought reports of Hernandez's death were a "hoax."
"I got a call at 5:27 a.m. in the morning from some official at [the] prison and he informed me that indeed Aaron was deceased, and at first I thought it was a hoax," Jenkins recalls, tearing up. "I thought that this was some cruel person, that it was a cruel person playing a trick on me."
"I felt like we were looking so bright," she adds. "We were going up a ladder to a positive direction."
Hernandez was found dead on April 19, a week after he was acquitted of murder charges in the shooting deaths of two men in July 2012.
On Tuesday, a Massachusetts judge overturned Hernandez's murder conviction per state law, because he died before he exhausted the appeals process. The decision could open the door for Hernandez's former team, the New England Patriots, to issue payments to his family. The former football star signed a $40 million contract extension with the team in 2012, though the Patriots denied him a signing bonus payment after he was arrested for the murder of Lloyd in 2013.
In her interview with Dr. Phil, Jenkins says that her last conversation with Hernandez, with whom she shares a 4-year-old daughter, Avielle, "had nothing to do with suicidal thoughts."
"Did he kill himself so that you could collect $6.5 million?" Dr. Phil asks Jenkins, whose answer is not disclosed.
Dr. Phil's two-part interview with Jenkins airs on Monday, May 15 and Tuesday May 16.