Quantcast

Thursday, July 31, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Laie backs Te'o after girlfriend hoax

By Audrey McAvoy

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 11:46 a.m. HST, Jan 18, 2013


People in the small Hawaii hometown of Manti Te’o stood firmly behind the Notre Dame linebacker after the story of his girlfriend and her death from leukemia were revealed as a hoax.

For the second day today, no one answered the door at the modest, single-story wood home of Te’o’s parents, in the small coastal town of Laie on Oahu’s northern shore where Manti Te’o, an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist, was born. Brian and Ottilia Te’o, did not appear to be inside.

Members of the mostly Mormon community said they were dumbfounded and didn’t believe Manti Te’o would have knowingly perpetrated such a story. The town of about 6,000 people, roughly an hour’s drive from Honolulu, is home to a small Hawaii satellite campus of Brigham Young University.

Lokelani Kaiahua, 42, said Te’o’s parents were her classmates, and she knew them to have strong family values they instilled in their children.

“I just don’t see something like that being made up from him or having any part of that because they’re not those kind of people,” she said while sitting and talking with friends a few doors down from the Te’o family home. 

According to media accounts that surrounded Te’o this season, his purported girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died of leukemia in September. But on Wednesday, the website Deadspin.com posted a lengthy story saying there was no evidence that she ever existed.

Notre Dame officials then confirmed the hoax but were insistent that Te’o was only the victim.

Te’o is a hero and role model to many children in Laie and nearby small towns like Hauula, Kaaawa and Kahuku along the two-lane highway snaking through Oahu’s northeastern coast.

Students at Hauula Elementary often wear Notre Dame jerseys with his number “5” on them. Te’o has often returned to the area to talk to speak to students. 

The father of another high-achieving athlete who lives in the area said he felt for Te’o’s parents, and for Te’o himself. 

“Of course you’re going to love them no matter what and support them. There are times when you fall down, but you get to rebound. And that’s where Manti personally needs our support, probably,” said Benny Kai, a Kahuku resident and father of former U.S. Olympic soccer player Natasha Kai. “I support him in everything he does.”

Makala Paakaula, 38, a high school administrator, said Te’o should be lauded for uniting Notre Dame during his senior year when he could have left for the NFL, she said.

“It’s amazing how he brought together the whole school to become one ohana, one family, where they all belonged, where they all had a purpose,” Paakaula said.

Phi Smotherman, 46, said people in Laie are sorry a guy like Manti became a victim of hoax. He said the town should throw a parade for him when he comes home in recognition of his career at Notre Dame and all the awards he received.

“I hope he does great, goes to the NFL and finds a real girlfriend that he can marry and actually touch,” Smotherman said.

RELATED STORIES

I loved Te'o, hoaxer tells Dr. Phil

Kelly doesn't know if hoax affected Teo's play

Dr. Phil to interview alleged girlfriend hoaxer Tuiasosopo

Te’o sheds more light

Face of Te'o's girlfriend says hoaxster confessed

Notre Dame president defends handling of Te'o

Voice of Te’o prankster? Couric plays voicemails

As debate raged at ESPN, Te’o story slipped away

'What would you do' Te'o tells Couric

Woman in Te'o fake girlfriend photo speaks out

NFL teams get their turn at Te'o

Records link California home and Te'o case

Alleged mastermind of Te'o hoax may tell his story

Te'o to be interviewed by Katie Couric

Te'o regrets tainting name

Records link California home and Te'o case

Te'o provides answers, but more may be asked

'There is no way I could be a part of this'

Te'o not alone in claiming online wishful thinking

EXCLUSIVE: Woman tried new hoax in December call to Te'o

Te'o denies being part of dead girlfriend hoax

Alleged architect of Manti Te'o dead girlfriend hoax reportedly confesses

Man admitted duping Te'o, woman tells ESPN

Notre Dame to Te'o: Time to speak up

'Catfish' jumps to prominence amid murky Te'o hoax

Residents rally around hometown hero

History of a hoax

With Te'o silent, questions about hoax mount

Te'o spoke of girlfriend after hoax revelation

Damaging silence

Manziel shocked by Te'o girlfriend hoax

Draft guru: Te'o's stock took hit before hoax

Te'o mentioned 'girlfriend' twice recently

Timeline of Te'o quotes in girlfriend hoax story

Te'o interview 'scrapped'

Laie backs Te'o after girlfriend hoax

Te'o could drop in NFL draft after girlfriend hoax, expert says

Fundraiser 'shell-shocked' by Te'o girlfriend hoax

Ex-Cardinal fullback says he met Te'o's girlfriend

Football star's dead girlfriend an online hoax

At this point, who really knows what to believe?

The naive get reeled in when 'catfish' nibble online






 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(2)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
awahana wrote:
Don't know Manti personally, so maybe to give him the benefit of the doubt, he is gullible and lacking intellect. Poor kid. Imua Laie!
on January 17,2013 | 11:33AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
For Manti's sake, I hope it's a case of naivete. If not, he, his parents, and all others involved would have perpetrated a huge scam and disappointed many especially kids who looked up to him..
on January 17,2013 | 11:56AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
Warrior Beat
Pre-camp notes

The Green Leaf
Marine debris art

Political Radar
`Toss up’

Political Radar
Super

Political Radar
Hilton; Plaza Club