The Hoax

By Jason Priestas on January 16, 2013 at 5:46p

A Deadspin report turned up every stone to prove that Manti Te'os girlfriend not only didn't die, but is never existed.

On a day when Chip Kelly created shock waves leaving Oregon for the Philadelphia Eagles, Deadspin dropped an atomic bomb into college football's lap by publishing an investigative report that shredded one of the feel good stories of the season.

Manti Teo's girlfriend not only never died, but she was never real.

An hour after the story was published, Notre Dame released a statement:

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

90 minutes after the story broke, Manti Te'o released a statement of his own:

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.

Which doesn't seem to jive at all with this Te'o's father's statements. Here he is telling the South Bend Tribune that Manti met his girlfriend in Hawai'i:

"They started out as just friends. 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."

The reaction on Twitter was swift (and funny).

And then this...

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