I'm starting to think that Te'o is just an idiot.
From TMZ (Hey, this is right up their alley)
The Manti Te'o not-really-dead-girlfriend hoax was perpetuated by a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo -- who served as a representative for the family of the fake "Lennay Kekua" ... and TMZ has the photo proof.
Here's what we know ...
While Manti was "dating" Lennay ... a Notre Dame die-hard fan who we'll call "Jan" (to protect her identity) reached out to Lennay on Twitter and began an online friendship.
After Lennay's supposed death, Jan became involved with a group called "Wear a Lei 4 Manti" -- in which fans wore Hawaiian leis to ND football games to show their support for the football star.
When the "Wear a Lei 4 Manti" movement began to receive media attention, Jan says she noticed she gained a Twitter follower named U'ilani Rae Kekua.
Jan tells TMZ ... she reached out to U'ilani and asked if she was related to Lennay -- to which U'ilani replied, "Yes, that's my baby sister." The two became friends.
In fact, Jan says they both mentioned how they were going to attend the Notre Dame vs. USC game in L.A. on November 24, 2012 ... so Jan sent U'ilani her cell phone number in case she wanted to meet up.
Here's where the story takes a turn ... Jan tells TMZ she got a phone call from U'ilani on the day of the game directing her to the famous Tommy Trojan statue in front of the stadium, so they could meet up.
But when Jan arrived to the statue, U'ilani was NOT there ... but guess who was -- Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Jan and Ronaiah even took a photo together (see above).
According to the Deadspin article, Ronaiah was the person who obtained the photo of the woman everyone believed to be Lennay ... and is suspected of having a major role in the hoax.
Jan tells us Ronaiah was with a little girl during the USC meeting who they called Pookah -- and together, they explained how Lennay's sister couldn't come down to visit, so U'ilani sent them instead. Jan says Ronaiah "made it seem as if he was a member of Lennay's family."
After Jan and Ronaiah took the picture together -- Jan says Ronaiah began to act paranoid ... and told her, "Make sure you don't post this photo online."
Soon after the game, Jan says she was contacted by U'ilani ... who also urged her NOT to post the picture of Ronaiah. She didn't explain why.
U'ilani later sent a photo to Jan showing a woman at a cemetery -- and told her, "This is me and my family at Lennay's gravesite. We're spending the day here."
Clearly, the woman in the photo is not U'ilani ('cause she doesn't really exist) ... and some digging suggests the woman in the photo is actually a woman named Donna Tei, who doesn't seem to have a relationship with anyone involved in the hoax.
There's more ... Jan tells TMZ Lennay's "sister" continued to reach out to her after the USC game ... and delivered some more bad news -- that little Pookah had been diagnosed with lupus and was dying in a children's hospital in Orange County, CA.
Jan said she wanted to send flowers -- so Lennay's "sister" gave her an address. TMZ has learned the address belongs to a member of the Tuiasosopo family.
Jan also gave us the phone number Lennay's sister would use to contact her -- and we found out the number is registered to a man named Titus Tuiasosopo -- Ronaiah's father.
We tried to reach out to Ronaiah -- but we couldn't get a hold of him. So far, he has yet to comment to the media about the story.
I'm willing to give Te'o the benefit of the doubt.
I think he got fooled and thought he had an internet GF for a couple years. I think he lied about meeting her and even talking to her on the phone because he was embarrassed and the stigma over internet GFs. I think he honestly believed she died. As he's a devout mormon I can believe his desire to seek out the emotional connection of a long distance internet GF which would allow him to escape the physical temptations.
But I also think he overstated how important this internet girlfriend was to him as part of a media blitz for the Heisman, hard to see that any other way.
(It's possible he's gay too, but the previous explanation is plausible to me)
Last edited by halfsharkalligatorhalfman; 01-17-2013 at 03:42 PM.
TMZ would have pics of other girls he has been with... anyone seen any yet???
I've pointed it out before, but has anyone else found it odd how Manti Te'Hoax suddenly comes out right after Lance Strong-armed does? Lance was getting HUGE amounts of **** and bad publicity, and now no one even cares.
Bet you ANYTHING that Lance Armstrong was behind all of this. It's a hoax within a hoax.
Its one thing to have a relationship with someone over the internet for a couple of years and not meet them - that would be akin to a pen pal when we were growing up. Its another thing entirely to be a virile young man and have your "true love" be someone you never met, supposedly from the same state you are from, and someone who you give multiple interviews about. That's simply not normal. Not for a guy in his situation.
I get that someone could impersonate a girlfriend over email, but who was he talking to?
As far as I'm concerned, ESPN is most to blame. Their "coverage" of most sports stories amounts to little more than hagiographic hero worship and/or sappy "uplifting" tear-jerkers. **** them all.
Except Stuart Scott. Geez, get well soon.
Pretty much sums up the way we should treat these guys. They don't care about us, so why should he seriously care about them?
Again, this whole fake g/f thing would be a really stupid idea for a gay player. It would just attract more attention to him once the story falls apart. There are probably hundreds of gay athletes playing at high levels of college/pro baseball/football/hockey/basketball who don't feel compelled to create fake gfs. They just keep it to themselves.
this just got even more bizarre. Ex-Cardinals fullback Maui'a claimed he knew the girl??
Manti Te'o went along...embellished...encouraged...however you want to word it. Ride this fake girl friend's tragic death story...to boost his Heisman ambitions. And here's ...
A Notre Dame Student’s Take On Manti Teo’s “Dead Girlfriend” Hoax
Tyler Moorehead - ND Campus Rep
"Yet, even before the Michigan State game, Manti Te’o was being questioned by his teammates. Apparently Manti had only “seen” Lennay once — but I assume “seen” was a rather loose term used for “chatted with online” (however, this is extremely complicated to understand since they were reportedly talking since 2009, according to the Te’o family). The debate among teammates wasn’t whether or not Manti actually knew this girl — it was clear that they had been in contact; no, players just didn’t think that it was fair to call Lennay Kekua Manti’s girlfriend, period (it is well-known on campus that he has had relations with other girls during his time at Notre Dame). They recognized what was going on for what it was — a terrible publicity stunt used to fuel Manti Te’o's Heisman campaign. In fact, many of the players privately commented that they didn’t want the students to wear leis in support of Manti and wouldn’t participate themselves — they cited that the team never responded so publicly to tragic events for other players. But there was also the feeling that Manti didn’t deserve to benefit from publicity from the death of somebody he barely knew.
Manti must have known how beneficial this publicity would be in a season that marked Notre Dame’s return to the national elite, and one that also put him squarely in the Heisman race. As a defensive player, you can’t win the prestigious award without exceptional circumstances — and here one had conveniently fallen into his lap. So he went with it, fed off of it, and it riveted the nation. Love for Manti Te’o exceeded that of any player I have ever seen, and even non-Irish fans hailed him as an inspiration. And here’s where it all gets even trickier.
Manti knew that it was over-the-top — his teammates had gotten that sense a long time prior. And now he was in too deep. More and more questions were asked about this fascinating story, and he kept answering them, calling Kekua “the love of his life”, even though he was digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself. And it didn’t help that his family, and specifically his father, Brian Te’o, was also talking about the incident, or lying as it appears.
And yet, despite all of this, I genuinely believe Manti was duped, I truly do. I think Manti was fooled, got caught in a media frenzy and exaggerated their “relationship”. I don’t, however, think he orchestrated the deception. He made the mistake of running with the story rather than admitting the truth about the situation. He should have gotten away from this story at the very start — when she “passed”, he should have expressed his condolences to the family that he believed she had and moved on, rather than draw more attention to it."
The media is killing this guy, and the whole story isn't out yet. He could very well be a victim here. All the reporters working the story are too old and don't understand that this is a very plausable situation on the internet with young people. These people need to hold judgement.
Last edited by mikekc; 01-17-2013 at 03:56 PM.
But the fact that he was 100 percent innocent; at the very least he lied about the extent of their relationship, is utterly ridiculous.
As said before, the most likely scenario in my mind at this time is that he was initially tricked, found out about it, and then faked her death to avoid the harassment/humiliation of having a internet fake girlfriend, and at the same time cash in on some publicity and motivation.
Claiming you consider someone your girlfriend for three years, and never once touch them. When you're both (supposedly) fully functional adults, free to transverse the distance between you, is completely unbelievable. People make time to go see family they don't like more often than that.
You'll never convince me that he wasn't at some point complicit in the hoax/coverup. My suspicion is by the time he figured out his girlfriend wasn't real he was too embarrassed to do anything but perpetuate the hoax.