Did Manti Te’o make up a story about his deceased girlfriend? According to Deadspin.com he has done just that! Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey of Deadspin published a play-by-play history of the supposed relationship between Notre Dame’s Heisman-candidate linebacker, Manti Te’o and his deceased girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.
The story indicates she wasn’t real and all the pictures of her came via a social networking site and the woman in the photos is alive and well.
Notre Dame has already been accused of handling rapes, fights, and a number of other infractions wrong. If this story is true, this will hurt Te’o and family, Notre Dame, plus his draft status. What team would risk drafting him now? This story was an inspiration to us all and let’s hope it is true. Here is a piece of the story via deadspin:
Manti Te’o did lose his grandmother this past fall. Annette Santiago died on Sept. 11, 2012, at the age of 72, according to Social Security Administration records in Nexis. But there is no SSA record there of the death of Lennay Marie Kekua, that day or any other. Her passing, recounted so many times in the national media, produces no obituary or funeral announcement in Nexis, and no mention in the Stanford student newspaper.
Nor is there any report of a severe auto accident involving a Lennay Kekua. Background checks turn up nothing. The Stanford registrar’s office has no record that a Lennay Kekua ever enrolled. There is no record of her birth in the news. Outside of a few Twitter and Instagram accounts, there’s no online evidence that Lennay Kekua ever existed.
The photographs identified as Kekua—in online tributes and on TV news reports—are pictures from the social-media accounts of a 22-year-old California woman who is not named Lennay Kekua. She is not a Stanford graduate; she has not been in a severe car accident; and she does not have leukemia. And she has never met Manti Te’o.
You have to go read the entire thing for yourself, but the gist of it is that Kekua never existed and all the details of her car accident, sickness, death and relationship with Te’o were fabricated. Te’o’s family never met Kekua and some people insist Te’o was involved in the hoax.
Notre Dame has released a statement saying Te’o was the victim of the hoax, not the perpetrator of it (full statement below).
The school says they were informed about the hoax by Te’o on Dec. 26, and implied that Te’o did not know that Lennay Kekua never existed. The school says the Te’os were victims, and that “someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia.”
Te’o released a statement as well, saying he was the victim:
“To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.”
Te’o, let’s hope you’re telling the truth.