Aaron Hernandez is no longer around to explain himself, but figures from his past are trying to separate the fact from the fiction in the life of the former Patriots star and convicted murderer.
In the 11 months since the 27-year-old hanged himself in prison, there have been unconfirmed rumors about the sexuality of the former Pro Bowler, and a new documentary features allegations from strong sources stating he struggled with his orientation.
In Oxygen’s “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered,” a former girlfriend and one of his attorneys reveal their dealings with Hernandez, both alleging he had suggested he was gay.
Alyssa Anderson, who dated Hernandez while they attended the University of Florida, said they connected again years after splitting, after she heard he was arrested in connection with the murder of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd. They communicated through letters, in which Hernandez allegedly opened up to her.
“He admitted to being molested as a kid,” Anderson said. “But he never dealt with it. It led to issues in his sexuality.”
Anderson alluded to Hernandez having a relationship with a man in college, though she did not speak explicitly.
“Back in college there were text messages I saw on his phone when he came back from a trip to Connecticut,” she said. “There was a male, didn’t have a name, didn’t say too much, but it was a relationship with somebody. And when I questioned about it, he always denied it.
“In one of the letters he opened up about it, and he did admit to it.”
Hernandez was engaged to Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, with whom he had a child. When presented with the allegations of his sexual orientation, she said she “was confused. I still kind of am.” Jenkins-Hernandez is specially thanked in the credits of the documentary, which aired this weekend.
George Leontire, who was a member of Hernandez’s defense team and who is gay, said he talked with Hernandez about his sexuality.
“This man clearly was gay,” said Leontire, who spoke offhandedly but did not further detail their conversations. “Acknowledged. Acknowledged the immense pain that it caused him. I think that he also came out of a culture that was so negative about gay people that he exhibited some self-hatred.