As Netflix’s “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” detailed, Jenkins and Hernandez met at Bristol Central High School in Connecticut, which they both attended. After a short break during Hernandez's college years, their relationship rekindled and got serious after he was drafted by the New England Patriots. They had a daughter, Avielle, in 2012, months before Hernandez was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating Jenkins’ sister, Shaneah Jenkins.
Following Hernandez's arrest, Jenkins stood by her fiancé. The docu-series showed the devastating impact that trial and Hernandez’s incarceration had on her and showed how her support of him fractured her relationship with her sister.
Jenkins took to Instagram to respond to the docu-series, thanking people for supporting her.
“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 one 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.”
It includes the hashtag “#stayhumble.”
The day that the docu-series was released, Jenkins shared an inspirational quote on Instagram which reads “Never forget how far you’ve come. Everything you have gotten through. All the times you have pushed on even when you felt you couldn’t. All the mornings you got out of bed no matter how hard it was. All the times you wanted to give up but you got through another day. Never forget how much strength you have developed along the way.”
During an interview with “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered,” streaming now on Oxygen, Shayanna explained her undying loyalty to her late fiancé.
“I wasn’t going to let him experience it alone,” she said in that interview. “I was going to stick by his side every step of the way.’’
She also addressed rumors about Hernandez's sexuality in that interview, which were explored in depth in the new Netflix docu-series. Jenkins said learning about Hernandez possibly being gay filled her with confusion.
“When you feel like you’ve kind of had it all with that one individual, it’s just something that took years to build, and now it’s completely breaking down," she said. "But I would not want him to go through anything by himself. I was the only thing that he had. Hurt or not — and I was hurt — I had to fight through it.”
Get all your true crime news from Oxygen. Coverage of the latest true crime stories and famous cases explained, as well as the best TV shows, movies and podcasts in the genre. And don't miss our own podcast, Martinis & Murder!