Manti Te’o has no dead girlfriend but has lots of questions to answer

Manti Teo

Manti Te’o never had a girlfriend who was sick nor dead

Manti Te’o became a media favorite because of his athletic achievement and the heartwarming stories that seemed to fuel his desire to win as a member and leader of Notre Dame’s football team.

To sum it up, countless stories shown on television (i.e, CBS This Morning), and laid out in print, recounted the losses of Manti’s beloved grandmother, and his cancer-stricken girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, and how the two women died within 24 hours of one another in September, 2012.

Only, it was uncovered, Wednesday, by Deadspin, that the existence of girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, is and was a fabricated sob story.

Then, the University of Notre Dame went into full spin control with a barely believable press conference from Athletic Director, Jack Swarbrick.

Then BuzzFeed Sports revealed that there were some folks insinuating weeks ago, via Twitter, that this girlfriend story was a fraud.

The web of deception is so vast.

Te’o claimed he and the young lady, Lennay, met on the field at a Stanford game, then the story changed and they met online. Then, Lennay was involved in a car accident, then she was diagnosed with leukemia, and while she was ailing, he spoke to her for forty days and forty nights ….ok, I am exaggerating, but the details are so BIZARRE.

At one point Te’o claimed to know the moment a deceased Lennay’s casket was closed, even though he was in practice — but now we know there was never a funeral.

What we know for certain is grandma did pass away, but, thanks to Deadspin, we also know that there is a young man behind most of this “girlfriend” nonsense (I say most because Manti doesn’t seem completely innocent) named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who has some connection to Te’o that hasn’t been fully revealed.

Confusing, right?

Manti Te’o is expected to address these allegations before weeks end, but in the meantime, he released the following statement…

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.

“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. 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.

“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.

Oh, Manti. The NFL Draft is the least of your worries at this time.

Imagine how bad this would be now if you’d been awarded the Heisman Trpohy or if the Fighting Irish won the National Championship.


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