It’s been nearly three years since former New England Patriot’s star, Aaron Hernandez, was found dead in his Massachusetts jail cell from a suicide. In a new Netflix docuseries, Killer Inside, Hernandez’s road to the NFL and unfortunate downfall is discussed. His fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernande, who was not part of the film, recently spoke to Good Morning America about her disapproval.
The docuseries examines Aaron Hernandez’s childhood to NFL journey
The film chronicles Hernandez’s rise to NFL superstardom before his eventual downfall. It begins by tracing back to his childhood. Hernandez was a child prodigy in sports who inherited his father’s football skills. He was close to his father and strived to be the symbol of perfection. Though he adored his father, his dad wasn’t without fault.
According to the series, his father drank heavily and was abusive to his mother when he was drunk. Sadly, Hernandez’s father passed unexpectedly and he didn’t receive much support from his mother – he began an affair with her cousin’s husband. Close friends and family attribute the death of Hernandez’s father to the dark path he allegedly traveled.
The series claims that Hernandez began getting into trouble during college in Florida, which led to hesitation of him being selected in the first round of the NFL draft and being selected in the fourth. He proved himself in the NFL and later signed a $40 million extension with the Patriots before things took a turn.
A year after his contract extension, Hernandez was arrested for the murder of his friend, serving Odin Lloyd. Prosecutors also claimed to have linked Hernandez to another double homicide that had occurred in Boston a year before Lloyd’s. Hernandez was acquitted of the double murders but found guilty of Lloyd’s. Just two days after the acquittal, Hernandez was pronounced dead.
The docuseries explores CTE and Aaron Hernandez’s sexuality
Hernandez allegedly left behind three suicide notes – one to his fiance Shayanna, one to their daughter Avielle, and the last to his lawyer Jose Baez. Shayanna has long questioned Hernandez’s alleged suicide. The docuseries examines whether or not CTE – a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries – played a part in Hernandez’s life.
After his death, she agreed to donate Hernandez’s brain for research. It was determined that Hernandez suffered from the most severe case of CTE for his age and short stint in the NFL. CTE contributes to memory loss, erratic behavior, and eventual dementia. Shaynna claimed that Hernandez had bouts of memory loss and mood swings. His legal team believed that his CTE contributed to violent behavior, if he indeed was guilty of the alleged crimes.
Among other claims explored in the series is Hernandez’s sexuality. Friends of Hernandez alleged that he lived a double life and struggled with coming to terms of being a gay athlete. They also claim suppressing his sexuality led to his erratic behavior, something Shaynna has denied.
How does Shayanna Jenkins feel about the docuseries?
Following the release of the series, Shayanna took to Instagram to express her appreciation for viewers’ support.
“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 in a post. “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.”
In her first interview since the film, she tearfully gives her take on everything involving the film. Shaynna is fiercely against the inclusion of exploring Hernandez’s sexuality.
“You can’t describe someone’s sexuality without them being there,” she said. “Although I have a child with Aaron, I still can’t tell you how he was feeling inside. No one can.” Shayanna also insisted that Hernandez didn’t display any behavior that made her “feel differently.”
Regardless, Shaynna says that her love for Hernandez would not have changed had the rumors about his sexuality been true. “It’s not shameful, I don’t think anybody should feel shamed for who they are inside regardless of who they love,” she said. “I think it’s a beautiful thing.”
Shayanna was also praised for her loyalty to Hernandez and questioned if she still believes he is innocent of the charges against him. “Yes, I absolutely do,” she said. “I would be a cold person to leave someone that had nobody at all.”
Overall, she said the docuseries has done more harm than good, especially because her and Herndnaez’s daughter has to be subjected to the constant discussion of her father.
Shaynna has tried to move on since Hernandez’s death. She sold their shared mansion for $1 million in 2017 and recently welcomed another daughter.