Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, A Hoax?


Jane Collins, Junior Editor-in-Chief

On September 12th, 2012, Manti Te’o went out and played in one of the first games of the Notre Dame football season. It was an incredible story of strength in the face of unbearable loss, just a day after he reported that his grandmother and girlfriend passed away.

The Notre Dame linebacker, widely considered one of the best in college football, was applauded for his courage on that day earlier this season. But on Wednesday, January 16th, Deadspin began reporting a story claiming that Te’o’s apparent girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, never even existed.

After apparently suffering a horrific car accident and surviving, Kekua died of Leukemia, according to Te’o. However further investigation shows that there are no reports of a car accident and no evidence in death certificates or obituaries that Kekua was or is a person.

The story gets even more confusing, as Te’o is claiming he was the victim of a complicated Hoax. Te’o now claims that a group of people tricked him into believing the life and subsequent death of Lennay Kekua. If this is true, a girl pretended to be “Lennay Kekua” and must have utilized the help of others in order for Manti to believe she had died.

“To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.” – Manti Te’o in response to these reports.

Notre Dame is standing by Te’o, with the Athletic Director of the school stating in a tearful press conference that Manti is one of the most honest people he’s ever met.

Hopefully there is more information discovered in the near future as Te’o prepares for the NFL Draft.