For the first time since Aaron Hernandez’s death in his jail cell at the age of 27, his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, is opening up about the troubled NFL star and his final moments before he allegedly took his own life while behind bars.
Shayanna — who is mom to four-year-old Avielle, whose father is the late football star — has spoken out for the first time since her fiancé’s death in an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw, slated to air later this week.
While Aaron’s lawyer, Jose Baez, has expressed his skepticism that Aaron actually took his own life, Shay echoed his sentiments that Aaron appeared to be in good spirits before allegedly committing suicide (just days before his death, he was not guilty in the 2012 deaths of two men outside a Boston nightclub).
“I felt like we were looking so bright,” Shayanna told the television doctor. “We were going up a ladder to a positive direction.”
She also explained that when she first heard the news, she felt as though it was a “hoax,” with someone trying to play an evil prank on her.
During the interview, Dr. Phil also asked about people’s theories that Aaron took his own life so his fiancée and daughter would be taken care of financially speaking. Last week, following an investigation of Aaron’s death, it was revealed that he left a suicide note to Shay, which concluded with the phrase, “You’re rich!”
“Shay, you have always been my soul mate and I want you live life and know I’m always with you. I told you what was coming indirectly! I love you so much and know you are an angel… Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love yoou. This was the supreme, the almighty’s plan, not mine. I love you! Let [redacted] know how much I love her!”
Shayanna and Jose Baez aren’t the only ones who felt Aaron was optimistic in his final days, and were surprised to learn how quickly things changed for him.
His cousin, Davina Hernandez, exclusively told In Touch that in the last conversation another cousin had with Aaron the day before his death, he was especially positive.
“He was just hopeful. He just seemed very hopeful and optimistic,” she said. “He was just very excited and it’s just the most hope he’s had in a long time.”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.