It’s been less than a week since Aaron Hernandez seemingly took his own life while behind bars, serving a life sentence at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center — and already, several rumors have come out about what life was like for the former NFL star, 27, in jail.
One of the most persistent rumors is that he not only had a gay lover, but also that he left behind a letter to the man he was in a relationship with while in prison — as well as letters for his fiancée, and their daughter together.
While the former Patriots player’s lawyer, Jose Baez, has since denied that there were letters to a gay lover, his cousin, Davina, has spoken to In Touch and shed light on her cousin’s life before his death, and shares details on the types of letters he'd write.
“In every letter that we exchanged, he spoke about how he was very much into God and had grown a lot as a person while he was in there. He would always write me inspirational quotes,” she tells In Touch exclusively. “He would be the one being positive in the letters all the time and just offering support. He would always write different scriptures. He always was a believer in God and there are reports about him reading them with [his University of Florida coach] Urban Meyer in his house while he was in Florida. He would read the bible — that’s all true. Urban took the time to support him when he needed it after losing his father. Hearing that he had become religious is not surprising to me because I knew he was.”
Other times, Davina says, his letters would focus on life outside the prison — rather than what his life looked like in the cell.
“Actually, a lot of times [he would write about] just memories,” Davina tells the mag. “He would ask a lot of questions about how people are doing in our family, how people’s health was, how my health was…. He’d really just joke the entire letter.”
Davina says she has “no idea” if there’s any truth to the rumors that he left behind letters for a rumored lover, his fiancée, his daughter, or his mother — but does know how she thinks people should move forward regardless.
“At this point, it would be best if people just let him rest in peace,” she says.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.