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Manti Te'o says he was the victim in story of bogus girlfriend

By Ferd Lewis

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:41 p.m. HST, Jan 16, 2013


Notre Dame's athletic director said the school is supporting Manti Te'o, its star linebacker from Laie, who today said that he was the embarrassed victim of "someone's sick joke" concerning a fictional girlfriend who drew national attention and sympathy this past football season.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the school has investigated the case of the fictitious girlfriend and "nothing I have learned has shaken my belief in Manti Te'o one iota."

At a South Bend, Ind., press conference, Swarbrick said "Manti was the victim of that hoax. Manti is the victim of that hoax. He will carry it with him for a while."

Swarbrick said Te'o first told his coaches of the situation Dec. 26. Swarbrick said Te'o became aware of the alleged hoax weeks earlier while in Florida for ESPN's college football awards show. Swarbrick said Te'o said "he received a phone call from a number that he recognized as having been associated with Lennay Kekua. When he answered it it was a person whose voice sounded like the same person that he had talked to who told him she was, in fact, not dead."

"Manti was very unnerved as you might imagine," he said.

Swarbrick said the school engaged an independent investigative firm and received a report from it on Jan. 4. He said he shared the findings with Te'o's parents the next day and that the Te'o family was planning to make an announcement about the situation next week.

Swarbrick said he expects Te'o to answer questions Thursday.

In a statement released today, Te'o said he was a victim of a "humiliating" hoax.

His statement came soon after the website deadspin.com reported that Te'o's purported girlfriend, who was said to have died in September, never existed. The website ran the story today under the headline "Blarney."

In a statement issued by his representatives, Te'o said: "This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over a period (of) months 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."

Te'o, a 2009 Punahou School graduate, was much celebrated for playing through the announced deaths of a grandmother and girlfriend in a 24-hour period in September and performing well in Notre Dame's 20-3 upset of then-10th ranked Michigan State.

Days before the game, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly told the media Sept. 13 that Te'o "lost some people very close to him and it's obviously taken a toll on him."

"Our players have been there for him and have been a great support. We'll support him," Kelly said. "He'll be with us. He practiced. He'll be playing Saturday against Michigan State. Unfortunately, he's gone through a very rough 24, 48 hours."

Kelly added: "But his support and his family at home have been great, and all of the coaches and players have been there for him. He wants to be with his teammates, he wants to be with the people that care about him. He's a strong man and he's going through a tough time, but he'll rise to the occasion."

His grandmother, Annette Santiago, died Sept. 11, 2012, at age 72. 

But the alleged girlfriend, Lennay Marie Kekua, who was reported to be a Stanford student, does not exist, Deadspin said.

Deadspin.com reported that an investigation shows "there is no Social Security record 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."

The website said the photo on the Facebook page that represented Kekua was of a different women who had no knowledge of the situation.

The heartwarming story was reported on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, in the Star-Advertiser and many media outlets and helped boost Teo's stock for a runner-up Heisman Trophy finish and seven major awards.

Today's Deadspin.com story and its immediate aftermath created an instant media blitz of online coverage, with ESPN, CNN and most other major news agencies jumping on the story.

In his statement today, Manti said, "To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painfully humiliating."

Online romance scams are commonly known as "catfishing."

"It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of 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 and less foolish. If anything good comes from this, I hope that it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online then I was. Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me and I focus on preparing for the NFL draft."

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, Notre Dame said, "On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te'o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which 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. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators."







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gobows wrote:
FECKLESS!!!
on January 16,2013 | 11:37AM
allie wrote:
Alabama revealed him to be a weak, bad player who is scared of any real contact. They walked all over him!
on January 16,2013 | 12:01PM
gobows wrote:
rather...........their entire team wasnt ready to play. it showed that their coaches didnt know how to cope or coach the long lay off. Alabama been there and done that, so they had the long layoff mapped out. I didnt think their offense was going to score, but didnt expect their defense to look so out of it. Oregon would've been a better matchup versus Bama.
on January 16,2013 | 01:02PM
allie wrote:
agree...ND is a football factory with a very weak schedule. It showed
on January 16,2013 | 01:27PM
pakeheat wrote:
Guess how many weak teams ND played this year went to bowl games?
on January 16,2013 | 01:31PM
turbolink wrote:
Allie, for someone who hates anything football, how did you become such an authority on team rankings and capabilities? What does it take for you to actually compliment someone or something?
on January 16,2013 | 02:17PM
allie wrote:
With a Mandan IQ of 145, I read everything I can get a hold of. And I was All-County in Volleyball and love sports! As well as poetry.
on January 16,2013 | 02:29PM
turbolink wrote:
You love to throw out your high IQ. Rainman had a high IQ also. You're embarrassing the Mandans.
on January 16,2013 | 03:05PM
ponowai wrote:
Now you're just an all state pain in the mass!! Goes to show how some people can have book smarts but have NO common sense.
on January 16,2013 | 03:46PM
turbolink wrote:
What does a Mandan IQ of 145 equate to for normal people not on. meds?
on January 16,2013 | 03:56PM
IAmSane wrote:
Whining and complaining is a sport, hon.
on January 16,2013 | 02:31PM
loio wrote:
weak schedule? NCAA rated it tougher than Bama's or Oregon's. football factory? anything but. stringent academic requirements, highest graduation sucess rate in the country.
on January 16,2013 | 02:27PM
kaleki wrote:
Fall back on the academic requirement excuse. Stanford has higher standards and they never use that excuse. Like Te'o, hate ND.
on January 16,2013 | 03:38PM
pakeheat wrote:
So how many national championships did Stanford get in football, o wise one?
on January 17,2013 | 08:55AM
fishwrider wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 16,2013 | 02:20PM
csdhawaii wrote:
If she were really a student she'd also be constantly posting during class, too. Don't think professors take too kindly to that and doubt if she could get away with it in every class, every day. Yup, she's a troll but don't let her get to you. The worst thing that can happen to a troll is to be ignored.
on January 16,2013 | 04:26PM
FrankieT wrote:
What does that have to do with this current story? What does Alabama have to do with this story? Don't where you are going allie?????
on January 16,2013 | 09:01PM
Aloha73G wrote:
Oh geez! SOMEONE CALL OPRAH!!!
on January 16,2013 | 11:41AM
gobows wrote:
Nice!.....I like that one!
on January 16,2013 | 01:02PM
builderguy wrote:
Wow thought this guy was a white knight. Always thought hewas over hyped and how things come back to bite you
on January 16,2013 | 11:52AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Yep, kinda like finding out Santa and the Easter Bunny are fictional.
on January 16,2013 | 02:30PM
csdhawaii wrote:
From Notre Dame’s Facebook page: On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te’o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which 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. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators. Dennis Brown University Spokesman | Assistant Vice President
on January 16,2013 | 11:58AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
If so then why did Manti keep quiet all throughout the season and that Manti appeared to genuinely be saddened by the loss. If Manti was playing throughout the season knowing that the leukemia death was a hoax, then he is himself was attempting to portray a glamorous style that was not reality. What do people think of Manti now?
on January 16,2013 | 12:13PM
pgkemp wrote:
like his father, and i'll stop right there........
on January 16,2013 | 12:31PM
builderguy wrote:
Don't stop
on January 16,2013 | 12:42PM
sanababeets wrote:
That's what she said. LOL! Happy Hump Day!
on January 16,2013 | 01:22PM
allie wrote:
yup
on January 16,2013 | 12:51PM
csdhawaii wrote:
If Manti went to his coaches on December 26 with his story, then maybe he only found out it was a hoax in the last few weeks. Apparently he'd never met the girl in person, only talked to her online and on the phone. So of course he would have been genuinely saddened if he thought she'd died. And if his story is true and this was a stupid and vicious joke, then who'd want to admit to the public they were duped like that? Like he said, it's super embarrassing.
on January 16,2013 | 04:39PM
Allenk wrote:
The moniker girlfriend would connote significant time spent in the presence of each other and during the holidays with family as well. In my experience, girlfriends are the one's you bring home to family parties and meet the aunties and uncles. All others - just casual dates and acquaintances. This sounds like more of an online acquaintance.
on January 16,2013 | 07:39PM
Descartes22 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 16,2013 | 12:16PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Everytime i watched Notre Dame, when the Irish was on defense, i kept a focused eye on Manti, if he was in the screen. All i saw him doing sometimes is just peddling side to side and never be the first hitter in a tackle.
on January 16,2013 | 12:29PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Then you weren't really watching.
on January 16,2013 | 01:11PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No i watched only maybe 4% of all the plays Manti was involved in. I never watched any game religiously as when i listened to Hawaii Islanders baseball in the 1970s. I was impressed though by Manti's statistics and we need to be proud of Manti's second place finish in the Heisman. The HSA front page of the day after the BCS championship game showed Eddie Lacy virtually running over a fallen Manti. Also this is national breaking news because it came across my iPhone as a breaking news from ESPN, and the ESPN alert showed up even after the time our own Ferd Lewis broke the news here. See, if a senior sports or other writer is involved, it is much better than the reporting from The Star-Advertiser staff, and i mean the quality of the reporting and also the intent and content of the reporting.
on January 16,2013 | 01:41PM
Rok888 wrote:
HonoluluHawaii has no clue on what is going on in a football. Manit led the nation in tackles and in interceptions...to say you never saw him be the first to make contact on a tackle truly shows your ignorance in the football...you must be Allie's brother from the 1980's
on January 16,2013 | 06:06PM
pakeheat wrote:
So true Rok888, they are called a certain defense whey they line up for the next play, you just don't let a single guy do what he likes.
on January 17,2013 | 08:57AM
allie wrote:
agreed...ND has many problems with coverups and big PR shibai. They played the media for fools. Manti went along with it.
on January 16,2013 | 12:52PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
aha Allie, u have become a Kamaaina. U use shibai.
on January 16,2013 | 01:42PM
fishwrider wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 16,2013 | 02:22PM
allie wrote:
huh?
on January 16,2013 | 02:30PM
allie wrote:
yup
on January 16,2013 | 02:30PM
turbolink wrote:
Yes, that's the one local word Allie learned from her roommate.
on January 16,2013 | 03:17PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Why did Manti's dad say to the South Bend Tribune, "Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there."?

I predict further investigation by dispassionate (i.e., not Notre Dame) organizations will confirm this is not a hoax perpetrated on Manti Teo but by Manti, his family and his friends, including Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. The Deadspin article is well done and leads to no other conclusion.


on January 16,2013 | 06:53PM
csdhawaii wrote:
Good question about the father. I read an article just a few minutes ago speculating about those quotes, and speculating that Manti, although not the originator of the hoax, was complicit in allowing the media to latch on to it and then started telling white lies to perpetuate the story. I'm sure a lot more will come out in the coming days and weeks.
on January 16,2013 | 10:05PM
allie wrote:
This guy is a total phoney. He knew this story was making him popular and he played along. What dud.
on January 16,2013 | 12:00PM
busterb wrote:
You mean unlike young co-eds who come from South Dakota and always tell the truth?
on January 16,2013 | 12:27PM
allie wrote:
ummm North Dakota and I always tell the truth even when it hurts
on January 16,2013 | 12:52PM
8082062424 wrote:
sort of like you and all you lies and make believe room mate and friends
on January 16,2013 | 12:50PM
turbolink wrote:
Apparently a thorough investigation showed he was a totally innocent victim. So again Allie, your baseless, insensitive accusation in very wrong. You owe Manti Te'o and those who admire him an apology.
on January 16,2013 | 04:09PM
mikethenovice wrote:
So much fibbing lately. Yesterday it was Lance Armstrong. Today it is Manti. Take it easy! No more fibbing. Can't take back words.
on January 16,2013 | 12:03PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Let's not rush to judgment. I get the sense that there's more to this "story" than meets the eye.
on January 16,2013 | 12:06PM
allie wrote:
Notre Dame has many player scandals. Please read NY Times about the coverups. Phoney school and a football factory. I hope UH never goes that route.
on January 16,2013 | 12:14PM
8082062424 wrote:
By your own words you graduate in December so you will not be around to find out
on January 16,2013 | 12:51PM
allie wrote:
True,,,December, 2013. Looking forward to leaving lala land. Too many people out here cannot face reality
on January 16,2013 | 01:28PM
lynloo wrote:
wish we could all fast forward to january 2014...that is until you re-create yourself as a 13 yr old prodigy from west virginia that received a full scholarship to UH's women's studies program, has a healthy interest in UH sports history and Hawaii politics, and was also an all state member of the women's softball team of some puny high school that won states three times running.
on January 16,2013 | 02:58PM
grantos wrote:
haha good one
on January 16,2013 | 04:56PM
flyingpigs wrote:
To bad Star Adv is black listed by Teo family, but I don't think they're talking to anyone right now.
on January 16,2013 | 12:10PM
Mallory wrote:
It could be that they knew this story was about to break so they used the other frontpage photo as an opportunity to suggest to others to blacklist Star Advertiser before this story broke ..
on January 16,2013 | 01:38PM
nomakeshame wrote:
What are they going to do now? Blacklist all the sports programs and newspapers nationwide for talking "stink" about the guy.
on January 16,2013 | 03:34PM
PokeStop wrote:
What the hell is going on? Manti, way to represent the 808 and Punahou School. How can you be conned by someone? Wasn't she your girlfriend? Unreal.
on January 16,2013 | 12:16PM
allie wrote:
yup
on January 16,2013 | 12:53PM
Morimoto wrote:
I'll wait until further details come out before passing judgment.
on January 16,2013 | 12:18PM
pgkemp wrote:
morimoto, yamamoto, they knew all along.............cmon...........got to go now..........
on January 16,2013 | 12:32PM
Morimoto wrote:
Are you on any kind of medication?
on January 16,2013 | 01:55PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Brah, try and read the whole story on Deadspin. You might have a different perspective.
on January 16,2013 | 04:12PM
inverse wrote:
Te'o acting like Tiger Woods or Lance Amstrong? That will not turn out well as he has not even established himself in the the NFL. If his girlfriend and her death from leukemia was a hoax and he was a willing participant, he will have a hard time with endorsements and might send him much lower in the draft given he will be hated by the public as a liar like Woods or Armstrong. Anyway after Notre Dames embarassing loss to Alabama and how Alabama's offense pushed aside Teo like yesterday's garbage, his star power has already faded into oblivion
on January 16,2013 | 12:25PM
PCWarrior wrote:
One word, with three syllables: Punahou.
on January 16,2013 | 01:11PM
raspberrygoat wrote:
If I'm reading this right, it appears to me that Manti did not know about the hoax, it was a prank was played on him...He met a girl who went by that name, and most of the relationship was an internet relationship, I suppose? So when came time for the pranksters to pull the plug on it, they simply had this fake girlfriend pass away...who's gonna check that out? I do not see where Manti is lying about anything, he was forthcoming in telling the University that something happened to him...
on January 16,2013 | 12:29PM
8082062424 wrote:
someone better warn him to stay away from allie. never get mixed up with some one online
on January 16,2013 | 12:53PM
allie wrote:
he knew it hon...read between the lines
on January 16,2013 | 12:53PM
lucky181 wrote:
Read the deadspin article. It gives much more information and names who was behind the story....a friend of Manti's. Why would a friend of yours make up a hoax like this????
on January 16,2013 | 01:00PM
allie wrote:
Manti, like many manufactured "heroes," is not what he appears to be in the press. This kind of thing happens all the time. We need to accept people for what they are: deeply flawed and human.
on January 16,2013 | 01:30PM
waverider808 wrote:
unlike you TROLL!!! you always tell the truth.....volleyball wahine wanna bee, authority on everything Hawaiian. grad in dec13?? can't wait for that day that this great state will get rid of people like you. transfer your credits and leave now...why wait? why stay in a state you hate?
on January 16,2013 | 01:49PM
allie wrote:
huh? I love Hawaii. calm down.
on January 16,2013 | 02:31PM
turbolink wrote:
You just wrote above this how eager you are to leave lalaland in Dec 13. Pretty bad when you can't keep your posts consistent in the same hour. Allie, you are a very troubled person.
on January 16,2013 | 03:11PM
csdhawaii wrote:
Nice catch!
on January 16,2013 | 10:06PM
grantos wrote:
you love hawaii but call it lala land? see your post above, which i am quoting here: allie wrote: True,,,December, 2013. Looking forward to leaving lala land. Too many people out here cannot face reality on January 16,2013 | 01:28PM
on January 16,2013 | 04:58PM
Nevadan wrote:
Appreciate allie. I do. She has been an asset, whether one agrees with her or not.
on January 16,2013 | 09:51PM
dtn wrote:
like you!
on January 16,2013 | 05:48PM
Ryan1987 wrote:
Manti's father said that manti and the girl had met up in person in Hawaii, it wasn't purely online as they're trying to spin it now. The family was involved with the hoax. How could Manti not have known that everything his dad was saying was a lie? He just went along with it which means he was lying about everything as well. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865564585/Manti-Teo-A-career-that-has-come-full-circle.html?pg=all
on January 16,2013 | 01:34PM
allie wrote:
A lot of folks knew about the hoax. It was great PR for the ND and Manti myth that swept the nation. This kind of thing happens too much. I guess some folks are desperate for a real hero. Sorry, but manti is not one.
on January 16,2013 | 02:33PM
HawaiiKaiGuy wrote:
Then someone must be bs'ing his parents. His dad in interviews said that his girlfriend would visit Hawaii when Manti was back home.
on January 16,2013 | 01:34PM
bsdetection wrote:
Here's what his father told the South Bend Tribune: "They started out as just friends," Brian Te'o said. "Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there. But within the last year, they became a couple. And we came to the realization that she could be our daughter-in-law. Sadly, it won't happen now." If Manti is the victim of the hoax, how do you explain his father's involvement?
on January 16,2013 | 02:31PM
hanoz808 wrote:
wait, so this was a hoax but he still acknowlendged having a girlfriend?
on January 16,2013 | 12:33PM
Shawn211 wrote:
Punahou and Notre Dame graduate...BA..HA.HA,.HA.HA.....??? Hard lesson learned here trusting on-line dating sites.
on January 16,2013 | 12:44PM
allie wrote:
embarrassing dude
on January 16,2013 | 12:53PM
hanoz808 wrote:
punahou grad? ivy league school? and he didnt know?
on January 16,2013 | 12:53PM
dtn wrote:
Hey Hanoz808...get your facts right before passing judgement on people. Last I checked, ND was not an Ivy League school. What school did you go to? Obviously nowhere of note!
on January 16,2013 | 05:46PM
jrboi96786 wrote:
Ooops!!!
on January 16,2013 | 01:05PM
ezridah wrote:
wow he got emotionally attached without even meeting her...wouldn't that make it easier to get over her! sorry but most people need to actually interact in person to really get attached or emotionally involved
on January 16,2013 | 01:39PM
hsk wrote:
I think he plays for the other team. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
on January 16,2013 | 01:42PM
jussayin wrote:
I can't believe it! Tiger, Armstrong and our local boy. To say this now after 4 months, geez. And he said things to the press talking about his 'girlfriend' Here's an example, " ... Less than a month after the supposed death of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, Manti Te'o sat down with Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN for an interview. During that interview Te'o talked at length about the girlfriend. During the interview he talked about how beautiful of a person she was and how he strives "to honor her." Blah, blah, lie, lie.
on January 16,2013 | 01:45PM
jussayin wrote:
check out this video where Teo is remembering his girlfriend: http://www.businessinsider.com/video-manti-teo-talks-about-his-deceased-girlfriend-during-an-october-interview-2013-1
on January 16,2013 | 01:55PM
builderguy wrote:
Right on its on video which can't be denied. Some of the awards should be. Rescinded
on January 16,2013 | 02:39PM
menejohn wrote:
Ho these Punahou guys smart, eh? That's what you get when you lower your academic standards to get athletes.
on January 16,2013 | 01:49PM
jussayin wrote:
Good one! LOL
on January 16,2013 | 01:54PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
The Anti Mantis are having a field day.
on January 16,2013 | 02:16PM
waverider808 wrote:
all you haters make me sick. you all are just jealous of things this young man will reap in the future. like non of you fell for shibai stories in your life. he is a young immature man who is learning the ways of life outside of hawaii. he represented this stae with honor and never had a bad thing to say publicly. yet all of you turn on him. get a freakin life. he has accomplished more in his short life than most of you in a lifetime.
on January 16,2013 | 01:52PM
Psyche wrote:
Who can be trusted these days? So very sad....
on January 16,2013 | 01:56PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The reason Manti did not want to reveal early that the death was a hoax was the way he knew her. Nevertheless, to keep it a secret was more harmful than beneficial, because look at how much we are talking about it now. Also if Manti did not reach second in the Heisman and that Notre Dame did not reach the BCS Championship game, the issue would be irrelevant.
on January 16,2013 | 01:57PM
ezridah wrote:
babababoozzz baboozzz baboozzzzz baboozzz babababoozzz baboozzz baboozzzzz baboozzz babababoozzz baboozzz baboozzzzz baboozzz babababoozzz baboozzz baboozzzzz baboozzz
on January 16,2013 | 01:59PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
easier to copy and paste rather than type. Try it u will like it.
on January 16,2013 | 02:09PM
ezridah wrote:
i did .
on January 16,2013 | 03:04PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
he was singing!
on January 16,2013 | 03:14PM
ezridah wrote:
frank delima wuz singing !!! lol...yes very embarrassing..scammed by fictitious wahine and actually getting attached emotionally on-line...
on January 16,2013 | 03:17PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Yes, this is yet another sad sports story so it just goes to show that you should put your faith in someone close to you who you respect and trust to be truthful to you. Family and/or friend. Sports are fun to watch and cheer for but you have to approach athletes with a grain of salt until you get to know them on a personal level.
on January 16,2013 | 02:18PM
rfosfcpa wrote:
This is indeed a sad incident and exhibits the cruelty and warped minds of certain people who could find humor in a hoax like this. Whoever the real girl is using the alias of Lennay may, in fact, suffer the fate of the alias--that would bring justice to the situation. This hoax does not take away the fact that Manti is a great football player. Manti comes from great sports lineage--the names of Santiago: Louis, Jr., Lane, and Walter, and Aalona are well known in football and baseball. It's no wonder Manti turned out to be a great football player. He will further prove himself as a professional football player! Those who now criticise him do not know much about football.
on January 16,2013 | 02:21PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Manti is great. I hope he gets to play for a great team now, such as The New England Patriots. If we went in the top ten of the draft he would probably go to a lower tier NFL team, which may not make it to The Super Bowl. On the other hand, if Manti made his team great in the NFL, then all the more accolades to Manti. Sometimes we have surprise players from Hawaii that succeed in the NFL such as first team All-Pro Max Unger of the big island and The Seattle Seahawks. Manti has good size and range for a linebacker, who are always needed in the NFL. Perhaps the Baltimore Ravens may draft Manti to succeed Ray Lewis. Now that would be great news. My hope this year for The Super Bowl? San Francisco versus Baltimore.
on January 16,2013 | 02:41PM
allie wrote:
exactly..he is a good football player. A great human? No. Abe Lincoln was great. Manti is just...well..we shall see. His story has not been written. Let us not be so desperate for heroes that we forget there are few real ones to be found.
on January 16,2013 | 02:55PM
turbolink wrote:
You certainly miss no opportunity to bash anything football. Not just today, but for quite a while. If you don't like it, why does that encourage you to bash folks who have excelled in it. News flash, it's important to some folks.
on January 16,2013 | 03:13PM
Shawn211 wrote:
I wish Manti much sucess also for his football career. Unfortunetely when you become a celebrity the media digs up anything and everything to get a story out. In essense you lose you self-idenitiy and freedon.
on January 16,2013 | 03:28PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Which is why on ESPN's SportsNation they have a segment entitled, B.S. or not, where the SportsNation votes if people are telling the truth or telling B.S. in front of the Mike. In this case we could generally believe that Manti was a victim, however, in my opinion, it would have been best for Manti to keep it a complete secret and let the moment pass, because it was only a year or less out of Manti's long life ahead. After all, Manti will be only in his early twenties, when he signs his Multi-million dollar deal with an NFL team soon. Manti is definitely a first round draft choice. In the top ten maybe. I think Manti will go in the top 15, without knowing Mel Kiper's Big Board lol. Secondly In this case, we are deeply involved because Manti is close to our Hearts and that Manti means something great to Hawaii. To the nation, he is the best defensive player of the country, bar none. To Hawaii, he could be the most celebrated player to emerge from college and into the NFL, and much much more famous than Colt Brennan or Jason Elam or Jessie Sapolu or Al Noga, etc.
on January 16,2013 | 03:50PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
"Manti Te'o says he was the victim in story of bogus girlfriend". That is the headline above. If we did the unscientific poll that HSA has daily, we might find that people would not 100% agree with that headline. In fact, people would vote that it was really Manti's fans who were victims of Manti's continued fictional story. If u r well-known, it is better to tell the truth sooner rather than later, because the public will always think that it was a coverup, whether u intended it to be real or not. Now in a top secret organization such as the CIA, then please do not leak any secrets out to anyone, especially in the fight against Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.
on January 16,2013 | 02:30PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
"Manti Te'o says he was the victim in story of bogus girlfriend". That is the headline above. If we did the unscientific poll that HSA has daily, we might find that people would not 100% agree with that headline. In fact, people would vote that it was really Manti's fans who were victims of Manti's continued fictional story. If u r well-known, it is better to tell the truth sooner rather than later, because the public will always think that it was a coverup, whether u intended it to be real or not. Now in a top secret organization such as the CIA, then please do not leak any secrets out to anyone, especially in the fight against Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.
on January 16,2013 | 02:31PM
lowtone123 wrote:
I guess the "Bowled Over" photo and caption is the least of Brian Teo's worries now, huh.
on January 16,2013 | 02:38PM
false wrote:
This has to be one of the most bizarre stories I've read in a long time. The media, particularly Hawaii News Now, manufactured an epic story of triumph, tragedy, and loss over a girlfriend who Manti not only never met, but who also didn't even exist? This might be more wacky than Wondergate.
on January 16,2013 | 02:39PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Yes and with all of that news coverage, Manti waited until mid-December to reveal his secret. Much better if he kept it a secret until after The BCS Championship Game, because The Fighting Irish lost their fight versus Alabama. Before we knew it, the score was Alabama 14, Notre Dame 0. Who would have thought, with the rich tradition of The Fighting Irish? Much better yet, not reveal Manti's secret AT ALL, because nobody ever tells everything to everybody about former boyfriends and former girlfriends.
on January 16,2013 | 02:47PM
paradiddle wrote:
I am stunned. I believed Lance Armstrong wasnt dopping. I believed that Oswald acted alone in Kennedy's assasination. I belived there were weapons of mass destruction in Iran/Iraq. I believed that Obama was born in Hawaii. OMG....what is the world coming to? PLEASE tell me Obama belives in the US Constitution and is not a Muslim....PLEASE !!!!
on January 16,2013 | 02:46PM
mcc wrote:
OJ is innocent too.
on January 16,2013 | 05:00PM
inverse wrote:
He might be. One possibility is OJ's son, was a professional chef who always carried knives and knew how to use them and had a previous a conviction for physical violence against a former girlfriend. This son was from a previous marriage in which OJ divorced the biological mother to marry Nicole. Another fact was right after the murder, OJ hired a lawyer for his son. Why would OJ do that? The theory is the son murdered Nicole and Goldman out of rage and/or revenge for the perceived suffering of his mother and/or high on crystal meth. Goldman was in the wrong place at the wrong time, OJ was at the scene as evidenced by the Bruno Magli shoe footprints in the pool of blood, OJ would 'protect' his son by making himself the center of police attention by going on the slow speed chase. With a Dream team of lawyers, OJ figured he could be found innocent and he was correct. Too bad the LAPD and the LA prosecutors office rushed to judgement and did not consider all possibilities before planting evidence in hopes of guaranteeing OJ's conviction. Those socks and gloves were an obvious plant by the LAPD
on January 16,2013 | 06:55PM
Hodad wrote:
Te'o is either incredibly stupid, a liar or was covering up his real sexuality (about which I could care less, but I doubt LDSers feel the same way I do). His father is certainly a liar.
on January 16,2013 | 03:21PM
inverse wrote:
The theory that Manti is not hetero and that is the reason why he and the father perpetuated the hoax is plausible. Notre Dame is a highly conserative school and most college and NFL fans and teams are not ready to accept openly gay players. Kind of like Richard Chamberlain who really could not come out until much later in his life. Yes, pure speculation however have no sympathy for liars who get caught in their lies, regardless that he is from Hawaii and attended the same school as Obama.
on January 17,2013 | 03:15AM
Anonymous wrote:
To add to the "bizarreness," check this out from ESPN. Reagan Mauia from the Cardinals claims he met this girl....................FROM ESPN:.................: Reagan Mauia, an Arizona Cardinals fullback, said he believes Kekua existed because he met her in person when he and other Polynesian teammates and Pittsburgh Steelers star Troy Polamalu went to do charity work in American Samoa in June 2011. "This was before her and Manti," Mauia said Wednesday evening. "I don't think Manti was even in the picture, but she and I became good friends. We would talk off and on, just checking up on each other kind of thing. I am close to her family. When she was going through the loss of her father, I was -- I offered a comforting shoulder and just someone to bounce her emotions off. That was just from meeting her in Samoa." Mauia said Tuiasosopo -- whom Mauia believes is Kekua's cousin -- introduced the two. After the initial meeting, Mauia said he met her at an "after-party" for all of the athletes involved in the camp. "She was tall," he said. "Volleyball-type of physique. She was athletic, tall, beautiful. Long hair. Polynesian. She looked like a model ... " He said it is his understanding that Kekua's mother is operating her Twitter account. He said he'd never met her mother. When told by a reporter that she apparently might not have existed, Mauia said "No, she is real."
on January 16,2013 | 03:42PM
kainalu wrote:
I thought I was getting free Southwest Airline tickets from FB that ended up filling my email inbox with tons of cr@p, and loading my cell phone with tons of cr@p. The point being, a young man getting snookered by an online predator isn't too hard to swallow.
on January 16,2013 | 03:45PM
IAmSane wrote:
Hello there, I'm a Nigerian prince and I would like to give you two million dollars...
on January 16,2013 | 08:42PM
islandsun wrote:
If it was bogus, why did he not denounce the girlfriend thing back when it was started??
on January 16,2013 | 03:47PM
nomakeshame wrote:
For all the uproar the family made over a picture that was posted nationally which coincidentally wasn't very far off from the truth, they are strangely silent on this matter. Manti is a good football player, however, not many NFL teams out there are going to jump at the chance of drafting someone dragging baggage.
on January 16,2013 | 03:48PM
heluhelu wrote:
What. Was. He. Thinking. That no one would EVEAR recall the story Manti; told to the South Bend Tribune last October about meeting "Lennay Kekua" FACE-TO-FACE? How "their stares got pleasantly tangled [when] Manti Te'o extended his hand to the stranger with a warm smile and soulful eyes."? Where "Lennay Kekua was a Stanford student and Cardinal football fan when the two exchanged glances, handshakes and phone numbers that fateful weekend three seasons ago.?"" How the ENTIRE Te'o clan appears to be involved in the hoax evidence the family's plan "for Kekua to spend extensive time with the whole Te'o family when upwards of 40 of them came to South Bend in mid-November for ND's Senior Day date with Wake Forest" and/or his brother Brian's account about how "they started out as just friends [but[ every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there. But within the last year, they became a couple and we came to the realization that she could be our daughter-in-law" but "sadly, it won't happen now????" There's are good reasons why some were NEVER on the Te'o bandwagon or ANY bandwagon involving athletes, including Colt Brennan. That an ambitions athlete & his family were willing to punk/use/exploit the REAL VICTIMS in this saga -- e.g, local yokels who swear undying love to local jocks -- to advance his career should come as NO surprise to anyone except diehards with eyes wide shut. *** Source: "What dreams may come" by Eric Hansen for the South Bend Tribune, October 12, 2012 [ bit.ly/ZYNy0H ]
on January 16,2013 | 04:04PM
heluhelu wrote:
Correction: "... and/or his brother Brian's account about how " "they started out as just friends [but[ every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii ..." -- "brother" Brian is actually Te'o's FATHER.
on January 16,2013 | 04:09PM
heluhelu wrote:
WOW. That was fast. South Bend Tribune just removed the story. Fortunaly (for now), there's Google cache [ ow.ly/gSLGx ]
on January 16,2013 | 04:20PM
heluhelu wrote:
And then there's the Deseret News copy of the same story [ bit.ly/X9bHz6 ]. See? That's the problem when you peddle a good story, however untrue. It gets peddled.
on January 16,2013 | 04:29PM
lori808 wrote:
Why didn't the truth come out after the Michigan St. game?
on January 16,2013 | 04:12PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Because Notre Dame wanted to ride on the publicity that this hoax would give them.
on January 16,2013 | 04:47PM
shanik wrote:
weirdest story so far in 2013
on January 16,2013 | 04:45PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I have lost all respect of Manti Te'o. First, he committed to UH and then jumped ship to Notre Dame. I can understand that. He did what was best for him. Then I find out in a Star Advertiser article that he asked his cousine for the football while they were under a pile of players. He took credit for a fumble recovery that he did not earn. Then I find out that Notre Dame had taken Brian Kelly from Cincinnati right before their bowl game. I lost respect for Notre Dame after that. They could have waited until after the bowl game they way Chip Kelly did when he was preparing his team in Oregon for their bowl game. In fact, I have a feeling he was alluding to the Notre Dame fiasco when he said that he would not take any calls until after their bowl game. And then going back to Brian Kelly he said that coaching at Notre Dame was a dream job. And then in a matter of a week or two he was interviewing with an NFL team. Then I saw how the Notre Dame fans boo the visiting team when they make their entrance. It is just a disgrace to Christians who try to lead by example. Notre Dame is a Catholic school but their conduct is contradictory to their "faith". Yes, I made a mistake in calling the Notre Dame-Alabama game a close one. Now I hear that he Te'o said that he received support from the family of his "girlfriend". That just does not add up. How can a fake girlfriend's family give him support? It appears that he used this scheme to garner support for the Heisman trophy which he later belittled by saying that he would rather win the national title if he were asked a hundred times. I have to admit that I was taken by Manti Te'o and supported him. Yes, I had stated that the national title game was going to be close. That's because I bought into all the hype regarding Te'o. Now, I am glad the Alabama won the game. Now, I am glad that Notre Dame was exposed for being the false number one team. I am glad, too, that the playoff system will begin in 2015. Notre Dame obviously did not belong in the title game. Oregon or even Georgia would have been the better team for an opponent for Alabama. I am sure that there is a collective sigh at NBC over this scandal. NBC is Notre Dame's "network". With all the blue chip players and entire network support for this team it is amazing that they have not won more championships. This is a sad day for myself. Te'o is not the hero I thought he was. He will go on to the NFL but it won't be with all of his supporters after this scandal. Sorry, Manti, I just don't buy your story. It just does not make sense and in light of all the things that Notre Dame has done and does I am not surprised.
on January 16,2013 | 04:46PM
Iuki wrote:
Oh, please! It was an on-line romance with someone who didn't really exist? Incredible. I think, though, his father will be the one to do him real harm, if he keeps doing things like asking people to cancel their Star-Advertiser subscription. And all because they printed a photo of his boy missing a tackle.
on January 16,2013 | 05:03PM
Ronin006 wrote:
It is amazing how many people comment about nonsensical stories like this and say nothing about really important issues.
on January 16,2013 | 05:37PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
From the Desert News:

And Manti Te’o is convinced the beautiful stranger will be watching too Saturday, somehow. Lennay Kekua was a Stanford student and Cardinal football fan when the two exchanged glances, handshakes and phone numbers that fateful weekend three seasons ago. She was gifted in music, multi-lingual, had dreams grounded in reality and the talent to catch up to them. The plan was for Kekua to spend extensive time with the whole Te’o family when upwards of 40 of them came to South Bend in mid-November for ND’s Senior Day date with Wake Forest. “They started out as just friends,” Brian Te’o said. “Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there. But within the last year, they became a couple.

I'd say Manti and/or Dad have some serious explaining to do. How did Manti hold hands and exchange glances and with someone who didn't exist? Who came to Hawaii and wowed Dad? hey, these are Manti's fathers' words. Wassup?


on January 16,2013 | 05:41PM
omd111 wrote:
You're not kidding that the Teo's have some serious explaining to do. Sure sounds like they were the fabricators of this whole girlfriend thing. How BOGUS is that?
on January 16,2013 | 07:00PM
false wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 16,2013 | 10:08PM
inverse wrote:
Either money and/or girls are just not his thing.
on January 17,2013 | 03:23AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
I just want to say that Rob Demello's report on KHON was absolutely hilarious. Either is was the worst job of phony emotions or Demello's maturity level has not gone beyond the 7th grade.
on January 16,2013 | 05:41PM
heluhelu wrote:
The South Bend Tribune just released the a statement identifying Te'o, his family and Notre Dame as the sources for a story published in October that described how Te'o & his family met "Lennay Kekua" face-to-face, including Brian Te'o's contention that "Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there. But within the last year, they became a couple." [ ow.ly/gSMe6 ] The Tribune: "At the Tribune, we are as stunned by these revelations as everyone else. Indeed, this season we reported the story of this fake girlfriend and her death as details were given to us by Te'o, members of his family and his coaches at Notre Dame."
on January 16,2013 | 05:56PM
kaulanakala wrote:
Manti is a big BULLSH*#*#*#*#*TER....He is about HIMSELF and getting all the sympathy votes etc...hoax is : him willingly participating along with his Dad....FIRST CLUE THAT Manti is a BSer is when he said he will go on a LDS Church Mission after his Freshman year....whatever happened to that BS? He will probably end up like the Boz...good riddance...I can't stand anyone with no integrity....he is FIRST in line for BSing...I couldn't careless he's from Hawaii...I hope he flops big time and ends up a LOSER..hmmmm didn't he also take a recruiting trip to BYU and got hosed by the BYU head coach for not complying with BYU Code of Conduct at a party he attended with his cousin who got kick off the BYU team the following year for breaking rules?
on January 16,2013 | 06:37PM
omd111 wrote:
After reading the article in the Deseret News from October 16, 2012 makes the whole Teo family look like blatant liars who made up a story about a "girlfriend." Check out the article at http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865564585/Manti-Teo-A-career-that-has-come-full-circle.html?pg=all
on January 16,2013 | 06:51PM
autumnrose wrote:
I wonder if he sent her MONEY for her cancer treatments... or at least he must have sent some "get-well-soon" PRESENTS & flowers...
on January 16,2013 | 08:26PM
CriticalReader wrote:
He got fooled, the press got fooled, and we got fooled. Haven't heard or seen Te'o say ANYTHING about how they met, describing them physically in the same place, or really much of anything else. Even in that deadspin arti\cle, the best they could do is quote other media reports, which themselves never quoted Te'o. Seems like there should be some serious questions asked of the reporters who wrote all those stories about the certain existence of the girl. But in any event, Te'o merely appears to have been talking to someone who wasn't what or who they claimed to be. Let's see. . . how many of us actually talk to people face to face who turn out to not be what we think? At least Te'o didn't wire $200K to someone.
on January 16,2013 | 08:36PM
eros_et_logia wrote:
Brian Te'o's quotes to the South Bend Tribune (cited in the deadspin report) would beg to differ.
on January 16,2013 | 10:23PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Can say a lot of things but smart and forthright 'ain't couple of them. More of adjectives that goes with jock would be more like it! His stock for the upcoming draft keeps going down.
on January 16,2013 | 09:08PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
cyber gal friend = no touchy feely, no transmitted Z'es.
on January 16,2013 | 09:09PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
One more thing with the internet relationships = caveat emptor.
on January 16,2013 | 09:12PM
shadowado wrote:
From Heisman to "Liesman?" I know who I'd put my money on if there was such a thing as the "Liesman" award. If there was an Oscar for football players, I'd double up on that same guy too.
on January 16,2013 | 11:53PM
kuewa wrote:
This report leaves out some important elements of the original story in DeadSpin. The person behind the so-called hoax, which was carried forward on Twitter, was apparently young male acquaintance of Mr. Te`o, who was posting the messages and using "borrowed" female images. The original story also implies that Mr. Te`o was aware of this and, in fact, embellished the story in interviews and interactions with friends and family. The hoax appears to be more of a caught-in-the-act.
on January 17,2013 | 12:07AM
Giligan wrote:
Congress needs to ban social media and catfish!
on January 17,2013 | 05:41AM
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