Manti Te’o Under Much Scrutiny for Fake Girlfriend

Posted on February 26, 2013 by

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Heisman Runner-up Manti Te’o became very popular last year due to his play on the football field.  He was the Captain for Notre Dame and helped lead them to the National Championship, where they lost to the University of Alabama.

Te’o was also very popular because of his character and the fact that he could overcome off the field issues and still perform well on the field.

Then, on September, Te’o’s grandmother, Annette Santiago, died, and his alleged girlfriend Lennay Kekua dying six hours later from leukemia. Many fans idolized the way Te’o could overcome adversity and still play at such a high level.
After the National Championship, on 17 January, Deadspin.com reported that Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend was never real.

Manti Te’o told his father that the couple met after Notre Dame played Stanford in November 2009. The truth of the matter is that Te’o actually never met Kekua face-to-face. They had an exclusively online relationship.

On 6 December, Te’o received a phone call from Kekua’s number and a voice he recognized as hers telling him that she wasn’t dead.

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is the man who played the role of Lennay Kekua and tricked the football star Te’o.  He played the role of the girlfriend, who called Te’o thousands of times and created a fake Twitter account. He used the Twitter account to communicate with Te’o’s friends to make the relationship seem real.

Tuiasosopo says he was in love with Te’o and then realized he himself wasn’t homosexual and killed off the character.

“It’s pathetic that the starting linebacker at Notre Dame couldn’t get a real girlfriend,” senior Steve Hilborn said.

“Manti was under pressure to find a girlfriend because Alabama’s A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend [is attractive],” senior Daniel Judy said.

Many people have different opinions on the matter. Some feel bad for Te’o for falling for this heartless prank. Others believe he is an idiot for falling for it since Te’o never met his girlfriend.

Then there are some people who believe Te’o did it for publicity to help him win the Heisman.

In the next couple months, more will develop on this story.

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