The images of Aaron Hernandez's daughter, Avielle, sitting in her mother's lap at a court hearing and holding her hand days later to attend her dad's funeral are heartbreaking.
During Dr. Phil's interview with Hernandez's fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, today, she shared that their 4-year-old saw her father in prison once to twice a week before he committed suicide on April 19, but had "no idea" that the former NFL star was incarcerated.
When asked if Avielle has a "comprehension" that her daddy was in jail for doing something that he shouldn't have done, Jenkins-Hernandez said, "No, she has no idea."
"And I won't tell her until she decides to ask or if she asks," she continued. "She thought daddy was at work. That's how we kept it. She knows nothing about jail, prison or any of that stuff. I try to keep her in a whole positive direction."
Jenkins-Hernandez said the toddler would sit in Hernandez's lap, color with him and play cards during those prison visits.
"I wouldn't say it was normal, it was her normal, so she knew no different," she continued about describing Avielle's visits with her dad. "As far as their interaction, it was unbelievable. She was very much a daddy's girl."
Watch her speak about Avielle below.
As previously reported, part one of Dr. Phil's exclusive interview with Jenkins-Hernandez also had her expressing shock and doubt over his reported suicide and questioning whether he actually wrote his suicide letter to her.
Just five days prior to Hernandez's death, the former New England Patriots' tight end had been acquitted of a double murder and was looking forward to appealing his 2015 first-degree murder conviction after being found guilty in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
Part two of Jenkins-Hernandez's interview on Dr. Phil, airing Tuesday, will have her addressing a Daily Mail report that said the former NFL star had an alleged gay prison lover.
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(Photo: Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)