The late Aaron Hernandez shared a daughter with his fiancé Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez. How much do you know about his daughter? What is she like? What has her father left her? How was her relationship with the famous football player? Let’s find out more about Avielle Janelle Hernandez.
Who is her celebrity father?
Born Aaron Josef Hernandez in November 1989, he was an American football tight end. Aaron played in the National Football League for three seasons with the New England Patriots. But his career was cut short after his arrest and conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd. And eventually, his life was cut short by suicide in April 2017.
Aaron was an All American at Florida, and he was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft. He formed one of the most dominant tight end duos alongside teammate Rob Gronkowski. They became the first pair to score at least five touchdowns each in consecutive seasons for the same team. Aaron played in Super Bowl XLVI.
Born in Bristol, Connecticut in November 1989, he was raised on Greystone Avenue. His parents are Dennis Hernandez and Terri Valentine Hernandez. His parents are of Puerto Rican descent and Italian descent.
In one interview, he said that as an adult, he remembered his mother throwing his father out of the house on multiple occasions. Yet, she always let him back in. Yet, there was constant fighting going on in his home and both parents were arrested at some point.
He had an older brother, Dennis Jonathan Jr., also known as DJ. Aaron’s father pushed him and his brother to excel, including through sports. But he was often abusive to the boys and their mother. Sometimes, he would beat them for no reason at all, mainly alcohol-related beatings. Yet, sometimes, he would beat them because he believed they were not trying hard enough.
Eventually, he became estranged from his mother and moved in with Tanya Singleton, his older cousin. Speaking of his problems during childhood, he often accused his mother of failing to obtain medication for his ADHD, which caused him to struggle in school.
Speaking of his educational background, Hernandez attended Bristol Central High School. There, he played football for the Bristol Rams and was also an exceptional basketball player. In high school, he began his football career as a wide receiver, before moving to a tight end position. But he also played defensive end.
He was popular during school days. During high school, he began dating his future fiancé, and mother of his child, Shayanna Jenkins. The two knew each other since elementary school. According to his own words, the two also smoked a lot of marijuana during their days.
Once he finished high school, he chose to play for the University of Florida. He was one of the best players during his college days. In January 2010, he announced his decision to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft.
Aaron attended the NFL Scouting Combine but was unable to perform any physical drills after tearing a muscle in his back during the offseason.
Despite being one of the better players during his college years, off the field concerns and physical size caused his draft stock to plummet. He was projected to be a second-round pick, but fall all the way to the fourth round, selected 113th overall by the New England Patriots.
There, he had three successful years before problems with the police stopped his career. Many people believed he put himself in jeopardy by hanging out with a dangerous crowd. He hired two of his friends from Bristol, both with criminal records, as his assistants. And that was his downfall.
In the 2013 offseason, he was arrested and later convicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional player who dated the sister of his fiancée. He was immediately released by the Patriots and found guilty of first-degree murder.
While on trial, he was also indicted for the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado and was acquitted after a 2017 trial. Days after being acquitted of the double homicide, he was found dead in his cell. It was ruled a suicide. He was posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Now let’s talk about his daughter, Avielle Janelle Hernandez. Aaron and his fiancé Shayanna Hernandez welcomed Avielle in November 2012. They welcomed their daughter on November 6, a day that was also his 23rd birthday.
He called her arrival the “best birthday gift ever”. In one interview, he said, “It’s crazy. Having a daughter on your birthday. Especially daddy’s little girl. It’s an honor. I couldn’t ask for my life to be better at this point. My life is pretty good. Thank God for that. It’s a blessing. I still feel blessed daily”.
He also spoke about how becoming a father was a life change for him. He said, “I’m going to look at things differently. I may be young and wild, but I’m not. I’m engaged now. I have a baby so it’s just gonna make me think of life a lot differently, and doing things the right way because now another one’s looking up to me. I just can’t be young and reckless Aaron no more”.
Yet, in June 2013, when his daughter was just 7 months old, Aaron Hernandez was arrested on first-degree murder charges. The trial began a year and a half later in January 2015, and he was eventually found guilty of first-degree murder in April 2015. Aaron was sentenced to life in prison.
While he was in prison, his second trial began in March 2017, this time for a drive-by shooting outside of a Boston nightclub in 2012.
His fiancé attended the trial with Avielle, who was four years old at the time. He blew her kisses and waves in the courtroom. That was in April, the last time she saw her father alive. On April 19, 2017, he died by suicide, five days after he was acquitted of double murder charges.
He left behind three suicide notes, one of which was for his daughter Avielle Hernandez.
In it, he wrote, “Daddy will never leave you! I am entering the timeless realm in which I can enter into any form at any time because everything that could happen or not happened I see all at once. Life is eternal, believe!! Love, repent, and see me/yourself in everyone because that’s what the truth is! I’ll see you all in the heavens awaiting you all with the same love”.
He continued, “Never fear me, but love me with all of you! Fear is the only separation between you and I! We are each other, I/you, you/me, there is no need to fear but what you do unto another will come back around”.
In June 2018, she became a big sister, when her mother gave birth to her second child. Her mother revealed the pregnancy in May 2018 on Instagram, 13 months after her fiancé died in prison. No, he did not freeze his sperm and was not the father of Jenkins-Hernandez’s second child, a daughter called Giselle.
Despite the age gap, Avielle is happy to be the big sister to Giselle, with her mother frequently sharing photos of the two on social media.
Avielle is just 10 years old as of June 2023, but she has already begun a professional career. She has been dancing competitively since she was 6 years old. Her mother was the first one to share an image of Avielle sporting a competitive dance team jacket.
Over the years, her mother has shared several of her dance accomplishments on social media, including playing a mouse in the Nutcracker ballet.
In September 2022, the costs of Avielle’s dance lessons raised concerns about how Aaron’s fiancé was spending his trust fund money. More on this later on.
When she was born, her father, the late NFL player, spoke about how she had the same energy and personality. He said, “She’s a cutie. I can’t wait to go back and basically look at myself”.
And as she continued to grow, she continued to resemble her late father.
Her mother spending money
As we said before, at one point, Shayanna’s spending of Aaron’s trust fund money for dancing lessons raised concerns. She requested $10,000 for Aaron Hernandez daughter’s dance lessons from a trust set up in Avielle’s name.
Yet, an independent third-party trustee who oversees the fund, denied the request, arguing she should have had enough money to cover for the cost.
In a court filing, the attorney said, “Jenkins-Hernandez had $832,049.83 available to her since her appointment as conservator to pay for dance lessons”.
In the court paperwork, Attorney Robert O’Regan pointed to her spending habits and questioned whether her purchases benefited Avielle.
From 2018 to 2021, she reportedly spent $10,505 in bank service charges, $27,878 on clothing, $23,734 in home goods, and $18,406 in unexplained. There was also a $3720 payment made to Bay Path University, and Avielle is not of college age.
The attorney said, “Large amounts of money are spent, with little clear identification of how these disbursements benefit Avielle”.
On her part, Shayanna maintains that she has done everything in her daughter’s best interests. She said, “Since Aaron’s death, my sole focus has been on raising and providing as stable a life for my children as possible. All monies I have spent have been with this singular focus in mind, and this will continue to be my focus going forward”.
Is she on social media?
Yes, Avielle Hernandez has a social media account. She has a private profile on Instagram, with more than 2,500 followers.
But it is a closed one, and the bio clearly says, “Managed by my mom @shayihernandez”.
While there is no clear answer to how much money Aaron left his daughter, we do know how much his former fiancé has spent. According to the court documents, over the years, she has spent more than $832k.
There is no information about how much is Avielle Janelle Hernandez’s net worth.