facebook
twitter
search
search
X
Breaking News: Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Tsarnaev will seek a new trial

Website: Dead Manti Te'o girlfriend a hoax

Jan. 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Inspiring stories about a girlfriend of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o who died of leukemia were part of a hoax, Deadspin.com reported Wednesday.

The website said the girlfriend -- Lennay Kekua -- never existed even as the national sports media wrote of how she inspired the Heisman Trophy candidate to feats of glory as the Fighting Irish completed an undefeated regular season.

Rather, Deadspin.com said accounts of how the two met at Stanford University in 2008, later became a couple and her subsequent death in September -- only days after the death of Te'o's grandmother -- were fictional.

Citing extensive interviews, the website reported the girlfriend was an online persona created by Te'o's friend Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the pastor of a Palmdale, Calif., church, and intimated the linebacker may have been in on the deception.

Te'o issued a statement Wednesday contending he was the victim of an elaborate hoax.

"To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating," he said.

"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," he added.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Pierre-Paul could have nerve damage from Fourth accident
Earnhardt wins as Dillon crashes at Daytona finish
Dallas Mavericks near deal with PG Lin
Los Angeles Lakers sign G Williams
Lynn, Pham carry St. Louis Cardinals past San Diego Padres