Bizarre, Shocking, disappointing, unbelievable are just some words that can describe the confusing and emotional story of Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Teo.
Notre Dame had an almost perfect season before getting blasted by Alabama in the National Championship game, but it is for certain that they would not have been their if it were not for the play of Teo.
The Heisman runner up, claimed dozen of Notre Dame records, and compiled several impressive stats which led him to receive multiple end of the season awards.
However, with the new story of his girlfriend Lennay Kekua, who apparently was his love of his life being a big hoax, it seems to have washed away all his achievements this season and has cast a really dark cloud above him.
This long dark muddy road may have started a long time ago, but it sure got a lot messier last year when a series of events put Teo in the spotlight. In September of 2012 after Teo’s fighting Irish went on the road to defeat the Michigan State Spartans, Teo received devastating news later that week that his grandmother, back in Hawaii, Annette Santiago had passed away.
To add onto this heartbreaking news just hour’s later, Teo was informed that his “Girlfriend” lost her battle with Leukemia. Kekua, 22 years old, had been in a serious car accident in California, and then had been diagnosed with leukemia according to Yahoo.
I thought it was interesting that, even though Kekua had been in a serious accident, and was in the hospital for a long period of time, Teo did not visit her once. I find it more interesting that when people asked about her or wanted pictures of her, Teo would either avoid the question or say her family doesn’t want him sharing pictures of her. Does this sound familiar to MTV Catfish?!
This was just the start of a slow moving snowball that would soon humiliate Teo. According to Social Security Administration records in Nexis, there were no record of the death of Lennay Marie Kekua, her passing, produced no obituary or funeral announcement in Nexis, and no mention in the Stanford student newspaper which was the University Teo said she attended.
To go along with this, there are no reports of a severe auto accident involving a Lennay Kekua, background checks can’t find anything on such name and the Stanford registrar’s office has no record that a Lennay Kekua ever enrolled, according to DeadSpin.
It was not until December of 2012, that Notre Dame was informed his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua was fake, and after the University sent out a private investigator, they came to the conclusion that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a close high school friend of Teo, created Lennay Kekua, and he believes that Teo was in on it the whole time.
“I’m 80 percent sure that Manti Te’o was in on it, we perpetrated Lennay Kekua’s death with publicity in mind,” Tuiasosopo said in a statement.
Notre Dame issued this statement yesterday afternoon to the press:
“This appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators, we are 100% behind Manti and his family, we will continue to conduct further investigation and provide any more details that we find,” Dennis Brown University Spokesman/Assistant Vice President stated.
Just hours later, Manti addressed the press in what was a pretty lengthy view point of everything that has occurred, here is the exact statement that Te’o expressed.
“This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her,” Teo said.
“To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating. It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother’s death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life.”
“I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick,” stated Teo.
He went on to express, “I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been. In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was.”
He wrapped up by saying, “Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I’m looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.”
There are still thousands of questions that still need to be answered, but whether Teo is a victim or part of this sick joke it is certain that his imagine will never be the same.
Story Of Te’o’s Girlfriend A Hoax
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