In an investigation series done by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, the layered sexual history of former Patriots' tight end Aaron Hernandez, has been revealed to have more complexities than anyone thought existed.
In the six part Globe series, court documents, audio and texts from Hernandez were used to piece together a life that was filled with tragedy all the way up until his murder conviction and suicide.
In part five, George Leontire, one of Hernandez’s attorneys, alleges that Hernandez told his mother he was in gay while in prison. During this time, Hernandez linked his homosexuality to his being molested as a child.
“He had been molested fairly intensely as a very young kid,” said Leontire, who believed Hernandez thought his sexual abuse had made him gay. This inner battle was a way for Hernandez to “control his self-hatred, because it wasn’t his fault,” the attorney added.
However, the Globe also spoke with a former inmate who said, “he never believed Hernandez was gay, and that it would have been dangerous for him in prison.”
According to prosecutor Patrick Haggan, Hernandez had a woman friend whom he regularly called from prison. During his calls, he revealed he was attracted to men and it made him “angry all the time.”
Hernandez’s early life was filled with abuse and homophobia from his father.
"I remember [Aaron] wanted to be a cheerleader. My cousins were cheerleaders and amazing,” his brother Jonathan said. “And I remember coming home and like my dad put an end to that really quick. And it was not OK. My dad made it clear that … he had his definition of a man.”
This homophobia and inner turmoil traveled with Hernandez everywhere, even in the Patriots' locker room, according to his teammates.
In his first days in training camp, he threatened to “f— up’’ six-year veteran Wes Welker after Welker said the tight end needed help. Receiver Brandon Lloyd said Welker warned him about Hernandez’s behavior.
“He is looking at me wide-eyed,’’ Lloyd recalled. “And he says, ‘I just want to warn you that [Hernandez] is going to talk about being bathed by his mother. He’s going to have his genitalia out in front of you while you’re sitting on your stool. He’s going to talk about gay sex. Just do your best to ignore it. Even walk away.’’’
This sexual identity crisis continued on in prison, where he went on angry, homophobic rants.
“There’s this [expletive] faggot that walks around too, puts butter on his lips for lipstick. It’s ridiculous,’’ he said in one call. “Walks around so flamboyant, like, ‘Oh my God,’ crazy…”
Hernandez finished the call by saying he wanted to punch the guy.
(Photo: Michael DeHoog/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)