Aaron Hernandez's fiancée initially did not believe reports that said the NFL star was found dead in prison.
Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, who shares a 4-year-old daughter, Avielle, with the former New England Patriots player, broke her silence about his suicide on an episode of Dr. Phil that is set to air in two parts on May 15 and May 16.
Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence for murdering acquaintance Odin Lloyd when he was found to have hanged himself in his prison cell.
"I got a call at 5:27 a.m. in the morning from some official at [the] prison and he informed me, informed me that indeed Aaron was deceased and at first I thought it was a hoax," a tearful Jenkins-Hernandez told Dr. Phil McGraw in an excerpt from his interview released this week. " I thought that this was some cruel person, that it was a cruel person playing a trick on me."
"I felt like we were looking so bright," she added. We were going up a ladder to a positive direction."
She also said that the last conversation she and Hernandez had "had nothing to do with suicidal thoughts."
Court papers released last week contained a suicide note Hernandez had written.
"Shay, you have always been my soul-mate and I want you to live life and know I'm always with you. I told you what was coming indirectly!" he wrote to Jenkins-Hernandez. "Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you. This was the supremes, the almighty's plan, not mine! I love you! Let [redacted] know how much I love her! Look after [redacted] and [redacted] for me—those are my boys (You're Rich)."
On Tuesday, a Massachusetts judge overturned Hernandez's conviction per state law, because he died before he exhausted the appeals process. The decision paves the way for the Patriots to possibly issue payments to his family. He had signed a $40 million contract extension with the team in 2012. The Patriots denied him a signing bonus payment after he was arrested in 2013.
In another excerpt from the Dr. Phil interview, McGraw asks Jenkins-Hernandez, "Did he kill himself so that you could collect $6.5 million?" Her answer was not disclosed.