Manti Te’o and the Girlfriend that Wasn’t – Part 2

So by now, you’ve probably heard all the jokes going around about Manti Te’o and the dead girlfriend hoax.  They are calling it “Te’oing.”

When I last blogged, I told you about the tragic story of Te’o’s girlfriend who died last year in the middle of football season of leukemia.  The only thing is she wasn’t real.

This week, he and Notre Dame both released statements saying Te’o was the victim of asad and very cruel deception.”

Now the questions are – who did this and was Te’o in on it?  The “who did it” seems to point to Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.  Tuiasosopo was classmates with the woman (reportedly Diane O’Meara) who’s pic appeared on Lennay Kekua’s Facebook account.  O’Meara says that she sent him the pic, but never posted it publicly.

Then, things go a little weird.  Tuiasosopo contacted O’Meara and said his cousin had been in a serious car accident and when Tuiasosopo showed him pictures of her, he thought she was pretty.  Tuiasosopo asked O’Meara to take a picture of herself holding a sign that said “MSMK” to help in his recovery.  O’Meara didn’t know what this meant (no one seems to), but she did it anyhow.  After the news of the dead girlfriend came out, O’Meara googled Lennay Kekua’s name and found her picture staring back at her.  She called Tuiasosopo to question him about it and he told her to not worry about it.

Tuiasosopo, 22, comes from a family filled with football players.  He himself appeared to be a promising player but several moves while he was in school seemed to have killed that dream.  Instead, he helped out at his father’s church, leading the band and posting his music videos on YouTube.

It seems that Te’o knew Tuiasosopo.  Te’o touted one of Tuiasosopo’s singles on Twitter a year ago.  He also wished Tuiasosopo a happy birthday.

ESPN is reporting that a friend of Tuiasosopo said he admitted the whole thing was a hoax.  Will we ever get the real story?  Who knows?  As it stands, many are skeptical that Te’o was in it.

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Libby Pelham

About Libby Pelham

I have always loved to write and gives me the opportunity to share my passion for writing with others. I work full-time as a web developer at UTHSC and most of my other time is spent with my son (born 2004). I love everything pop culture, but also enjoy writing about green living (it has opened my eyes to many things!) and health (got to worry about that as you get older!).