Bonkers: Tragic story of Notre Dame linebacker’s dead girlfriend appears to be … a giant hoax; Update: Te’o issues statement

posted at 5:10 pm on January 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

Normally I’d stick a non-political link in Headlines or the Greenroom but odds are good that this is the most gripping, mind-bending post you’ll read on the Internet this year. You don’t have to know or like college football to follow it. If it were a movie, it’d be “Vertigo,” not “Rudy.”

I’m not even going to excerpt it. Just read it, and pay attention to the timeline of Te’o's relationship with “Kekua” near the beginning. There’s no way he wasn’t in on it, right? Who else could the details of the relationship have come from? If they didn’t really meet after a game at Stanford, why didn’t Te’o correct the media reports? No one’s this gullible.

Update: Assuming the timestamp here is accurate, the gears were turning online more than a month ago at least. No national reporters got tipped about this before now? Even though Te’o was a star and Notre Dame — Notre Dame — was ranked number one?

Update: Here’s more from the South Bend Tribune article in October mentioned by Deadspin:

Kekua, who eventually graduated from Stanford, was, in fact, doing so well that she was released from the hospital on Sept. 10. And Brian Te’o was among those congratulating her via telephone.

Less than 48 hours later, at 4 a.m. Hawaii time, Kekua sent a text to Brian and Ottilia, expressing her condolences over the passing of Ottilia’s mom, Annette Santiago, just hours before.

Brian awakened three hours later, saw the text, and sent one back. There was no response. A couple of hours later, Manti called his parents, his heart in pieces.

Lennay Kekua had died.

Three possibilities: Te’o duped his father too; Te’o's father was also in on it; Te’o himself was somehow duped — for three years.

Update: The only way this story could get more surreal is if this statement from Notre Dame is true:

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.

Update: So the accusation is that Te’o made up a story about a dead girlfriend to generate sympathy and interest and the defense is that he was actually the victim of a vicious years-long Internet hoax, thereby generating … sympathy and interest?

Update: Here’s a way for Google wizards to test Te’o's credibility. When was the very first mention of his relationship with Kekua? They allegedly met after a game in 2009, although it’s not clear that that info came from Te’o himself; it’s hard for me to believe that he’d run a scam for three whole years with an eye to a heartbreaking, tragic death just months before his big senior Hesiman push. If he really was in on it and made up the whole thing for sympathy, it’s more likely that he only first started talking about in 2012. If he was talking about it even before then, back in, say, 2010, then maybe he … really was duped? Really?

Update: C’mon.

“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.”

Remember, according to Te’o's own father, “Kekua” visited him in Hawaii. Go listen to this interview with Te’o himself and you’ll hear him talking about chatting with “Kekua” on the phone. Either he’s in on it or the guy whom Deadspin names as the likely hoaxer had a woman accomplice — for weeks or months or years — which makes this even less likely.


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Wow. I thought people stopped pulling the “My girlfriend goes to another school,” trick in junior high.

alchemist19 on January 16, 2013 at 5:12 PM

One commenter on the site called it “Nosuch Dame.”

Ed Morrissey on January 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Deadspin is a Gawker product. I’ll pass.

Abby Adams on January 16, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Ten comments or bust.

Vince on January 16, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Not as big a hoax, apparently, as deciding Notre Dame actually belonged in the BCS Championship Game.

viking01 on January 16, 2013 at 5:19 PM

…so anyway…I’m sure the Detroit Lions will make him their first pick!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

At least he has good taste in fake girlfriends…

d1carter on January 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Not as big a hoax, apparently, as deciding Notre Dame actually belonged in the BCS Championship Game.

viking01

So much this. I hope they’re never considered for any BCS games again until they grow a set and join a major conference.

Benaiah on January 16, 2013 at 5:22 PM

No national reporters got tipped about this before now? Even though Te’o was a star and Notre Dame — Notre Dame — was ranked number one?

It must be a Hawaii thing. Both Te’o & Obama never got journalists to go search their backgrounds.

portlandon on January 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I almost can’t believe this. How would you really expect to keep this going?

The sheer size of the pair on this guy for making this up is as impressive as the hoax itself.

John_Locke on January 16, 2013 at 5:24 PM

This kind of story leads to the same rabbit hole and feed those think that Sandy Hook was a inside job. If a person or group can fake a dead girlfriend the all powerful government can fake anything.

tjexcite on January 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM

portlandon on January 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Yup, beat me to it…

d1carter on January 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Well, Brian Manti’s trying to tell me that in addition to the number of girls in the Niagara Falls Silicon Valley area, that presently you and he are riding the hobby horse.”

CycloneCDB on January 16, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I’ll bet NBC got more yards with it than Notre Dame’s running game on January 7th.

viking01 on January 16, 2013 at 5:27 PM

The medical stuff – serious injuries, leukemia, bone marrow transplant – told me the story was bogus.

Blake on January 16, 2013 at 5:30 PM

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.

So this is Lennay (Lenny?).

sharrukin on January 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Ha, Obama’s still tops at making up girlfriends.

Barry’s #1! Barry’s #1!

Dusty on January 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Well, Brian Manti’s trying to tell me that in addition to the number of girls in the Niagara Falls Silicon Valley area, that presently you and he are riding the hobby horse.”

CycloneCDB on January 16, 2013 at 5:27 PM

So you’re saying he didn’t want Claire everyone to know he was virgin? interesting, and there’s probably a Tebow angle there too…

trubble on January 16, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I think something is wrong with this kid to try to make up such a story and pull it off. I would avoid him like the plague if I were an NFL GM.

rockmom on January 16, 2013 at 5:36 PM

So this is Lennay (Lenny?).

sharrukin on January 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

No, that’s sesquipedalian.

Vince on January 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Update: Don’t care.

davidk on January 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

This is nothing new. Check out “Kaycee Nicole” at Wikipedia.

Scopper on January 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

So he also had a composite girlfriend…big deal
;-) ;-)

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

No, that’s sesquipedalian.

Vince on January 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

I thought he sounded familiar.

sharrukin on January 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Revrum’ Wrong could probably fix him up with someone special.

viking01 on January 16, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Isnt having a “girlfriend” a minor sin at a place like Notre Dame anyway?

/harharhar

Jeddite on January 16, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Wow, wow, this is a whole NEW level of SICK. I lost ALL respect for Manti Teo instantly. He is one sick demented F—, who needs to see a shrink, NOW.

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 5:46 PM

So this is Lennay (Lenny?).

wow! an actual picture of an IBM PC XT with dual drive and a dot matrix printer. and is that the kid from “A Christmas Story”?

btw A&M should have replayed Alabama in that game.

DanMan on January 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Remember, Notre Dame is the largest “catholic” university promoting pro-abortion mentors and speaker series.

crash72 on January 16, 2013 at 5:51 PM

He’ll make a great NY Jet

philw1776 on January 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM

This is another case of Munchausen by Internet.

And Teo is in need of immediate psychiatric care. What a sick thing he did. SICK, beyond words can describe.

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey need to dig into Benghazi and Fast and Furious.

TexAz on January 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

btw A&M should have replayed Alabama in that game.

DanMan on January 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Agreed. Some could argue that the SEC Championship and the National Championship are now the same game.

viking01 on January 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Gee. I wish the media was as diligent about important stuff.

kim roy on January 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

He’ll make a great NY Jet

philw1776 on January 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM

I’m thinking…Bengals or Raiders….

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

He’ll make a great NY Jet

philw1776 on January 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM

I have a tattoo of T’eo’s girlfriend on my wife.

CycloneCDB on January 16, 2013 at 5:58 PM

No national reporters got tipped about this before now? Even though Te’o was a star and Notre Dame — Notre Dame — was ranked number one?
It must be a Hawaii thing. Both Te’o & Obama never got journalists to go search their backgrounds.

portlandon on January 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

…there is no such thing as reporters or journalists anymore…so carry on!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Brent Musburger wants to know if it’s okay for him to talk about T’eo’s girlfriend.

CycloneCDB on January 16, 2013 at 5:59 PM

No way, no how Teo did not know this was a hoax.

How do you have a three year relationship with a hoax?

No one is that stupid.

Captain Kirock on January 16, 2013 at 6:03 PM

btw A&M should have replayed Alabama in that game.

DanMan on January 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Oregon run’s A&M’S offense better than A&M does and if Alabama couldn’t stop the poor man’s version of that offense then they couldn’t have stopped the real thing. Ducks would have flattened the Tide.

alchemist19 on January 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM

How many carjackings does one have to complete successfully to qualify for the NBA?

viking01 on January 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Every time I read another wistful “could have beaten the Tide” claim I’m reminded of the old saying:

“If your aunt had b*lls she’d be your uncle.”

It’s almost as sad as ESPN’s Ivan Maisel hinting “The refs did it.”

viking01 on January 16, 2013 at 6:08 PM

If he was talking about it even before then, back in, say, 2010, then maybe he … really was duped? Really?

The girl doesn’t exist. How could he have been duped into thinking that he met her?

TexasDan on January 16, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Wow.

MayBee on January 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Update: Te’o is on suicide-by-finger-gun watch.

Curtiss on January 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM

His new girlfriend is a model and lives in Canada.

ReaganWasRight on January 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM

I think he was just embarrassed because she ran off with Brent Musburger.

ReaganWasRight on January 16, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Thank God for the Mainstream Media’s legendary legion of fact-checkers.

MikeHu on January 16, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Not the first Hawaii “native” to make up a “composite” girlfriend. Is there something in the water there?

TXUS on January 16, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Pretty soon we will see him on Oprah expecting to be forgiven like LANCE

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 6:18 PM

FOR ALL THE CONFUSED PEOPLE … READ THE ACTUAL DEADSPIN ARTICLE AND YOU WILL REALIZE HOW MUCH OF A FRAUD THIS GUY IS

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Sounds like a psych experiment to see how much a person with exceptional skills in one area can get away with and still be accepted by the public.

AZfederalist on January 16, 2013 at 6:21 PM

I don’t come to HotGas for the entertainment and sports news. I’m guessing this is all just filler material until they can go back to 90% of the content being polls.

Spliff Menendez on January 16, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Sorry folks, but this REEKS of the Notre Dame athletic department. Remember, these f–kers changed the pronunciation of their QB’s name to rhyme with “Heisman.” Doing this differs only by degree, not substance.

My guess is we’ll hear this was done to hide the fact the Te’O is gay while playing at ND. He’ll come out, all will be forgiven, and we’ll all be made to feel bad for judging him about “a very painful decision.”

That’s the ONLY scenario that could get him out of this.

SAMinVA on January 16, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Update: Te’o is on suicide-by-finger-gun watch.

Curtiss on January 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM

He might hang himself with an imaginary belt.

Cicero43 on January 16, 2013 at 6:28 PM

His new girlfriend is a model and lives in Canada.

ReaganWasRight on January 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM

From the Niagara Falls area

The Notorious G.O.P on January 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

I like Kekua on ice.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

oh man Spliff, you too had to go there. The only thing more tedious than stories about polls to drive news near an election are stories about polls to drive news outside of elections. We’re either in 100% agreement or its 50-50.

DanMan on January 16, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Yeah, ’cause everyone on the internet uses their real picture…

Ronnie on January 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

He vacationed with her–now she doesn’t exist! What a bunch of malarkey!!

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Bet they are really glad they gave the Heisman to Manziel now.

This is one bizarre story.

gophergirl on January 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

How is this different from the hoax Obama plays on us daily that compels us to borrow $4 billion a day to care for us?

Paul-Cincy on January 16, 2013 at 6:36 PM

His new girlfriend is a model and lives in Canada.

ReaganWasRight on January 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM

A French model, he met her on the Internet.

AZfederalist on January 16, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Actually… this would have been the perfect egg on the Heisman voters’ face. Now I’m sorry he didn’t win it.

Yes, Manti-Te’o is the lesser of two Hawaiian frauds.

SAMinVA on January 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

MANTI T’EO IS LYING!!!!!!
“They started out as just friends,” Te’o's father, Brian, told the Tribune in October 2012. “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.”
Deadspin has the full story

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM

OMG! You know, when I heard this story I went to look for pics of her, assuming they’d accompany every article about Manti Te’o and his tragic story and couldn’t find any.

kit9 on January 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM

How do you have a three year relationship with a hoax?

No one is that stupid.

Captain Kirock on January 16, 2013 at 6:03 PM

obambi’s been in office for 4 years not 3.

VegasRick on January 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

*insert joke about famous transparency of Catholic institutions here*

*insert joke about Catholics overly dramatizing things here*

*insert joke about Notre Dame fans being suckers for hype here*

*insert ROLL TIDE here*

Lawdawg86 on January 16, 2013 at 6:56 PM

What a pathological liar and a sick sick guy to create a lie to receive national attention and sympathy. If you want to get Manti Fakeo the benefit of a doubt and believe he is the victim here do not listen to this interview http://theoriginalwinger.com/2012-10-17-listen-to-this-manti-teos-interview-on-the-jim-rome-radio-show-mteo_5-via-jimrome

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 7:14 PM

FOR ALL THE CONFUSED PEOPLE … READ THE ACTUAL DEADSPIN ARTICLE AND YOU WILL REALIZE HOW MUCH OF A FRAUD THIS GUY IS

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Not only that, the Deadspin story shockingly looks like an example of fine investigative journalism. It’s worth a read just for that.

alchemist19 on January 16, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Manti Teo is Barack Obama 2.0. Most of Obozo’s autobiography is also a hoax.

sauldalinsky on January 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Hey. I don’t understand. Am I supposed to care about any of this?

BigAlSouth on January 16, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Not only that, the Deadspin story shockingly looks like an example of fine investigative journalism. It’s worth a read just for that.

alchemist19 on January 16, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Imagine what our country would look like if the current transcriptionists for the democrats, the MSM, actually engaged in such journalism instead of merely transcribing White House and DNC talking points.

AZfederalist on January 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Roll Tide.

stout77 on January 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Hey. I don’t understand. Am I supposed to care about any of this?

You must care if you took time to comment, no?

Allahpundit on January 16, 2013 at 7:43 PM

I think he was just embarrassed because she ran off with Brent Musburger.

ReaganWasRight on January 16, 2013 at 6:14 PM

ROTFLMAO!

Thread winner.

Sorry, but all my football attention is currently devoted to learning more about the start of the Marc Trestman era in Chicago. (whistling) Alouette, gentille Alouette…

JimLennon on January 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

I think Manti was duped. He just didn’t want people to know he had never met the woman in real life. Doesn’t seem that hard for me to believe. Some people are really that gullible. I have read many stories about people falling for people online, never meeting them for years, but still adjusting their whole lives around this online person they think they’ll someday meet.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

I like Kekua on ice.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Damn furriners and their fancy drinks!

:-)

Solaratov on January 16, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I think Manti was duped. He just didn’t want people to know he had never met the woman in real life. Doesn’t seem that hard for me to believe. Some people are really that gullible. I have read many stories about people falling for people online, never meeting them for years, but still adjusting their whole lives around this online person they think they’ll someday meet.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

LOL! You can’t be serious. Manti had motive to lie. He wanted the press.

terryannonline on January 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM

One explanation is that he was both scammed and also repeatedly lied about the nature of the relationship to both his family and the press. He had what he thought was an online relationship – supplemented with a female voice over the telephone – while possessing sufficient self-awareness to know that a relationship in which you never actually meet the girl is kinda pathetic. So he fabricated the accounts of actually meeting, maybe figuring they’d eventually meet up anyway, so they weren’t really terrible lies.

But this explanation makes no sense because a star football player shouldn’t have trouble meeting real live girls.

So I never said it.

BCrago66 on January 16, 2013 at 8:01 PM

One explanation is that he was both scammed and also repeatedly lied about the nature of the relationship to both his family and the press. He had what he thought was an online relationship – supplemented with a female voice over the telephone – while possessing sufficient self-awareness to know that a relationship in which you never actually meet the girl is kinda pathetic. So he fabricated the accounts of actually meeting, maybe figuring they’d eventually meet up anyway, so they weren’t really terrible lies.
But this explanation makes no sense because a star football player shouldn’t have trouble meeting real live girls.
So I never said it.
BCrago66 on January 16, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I totally agree with this.

And, by the way, just because someone gets into an online relationship and believes the person to be real, it doesn’t mean they have trouble finding dates in real life. Football players are just regular people like anyone else.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 8:14 PM

One explanation is that he was both scammed and also repeatedly lied about the nature of the relationship to both his family and the press.

He’s a young college football I’m sure he would have no trouble getting a girlfriend. He made up this story to get press and votes for the Heisman

terryannonline on January 16, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Sadly, the poster who earlier alluded this may be the ND athletic department, may be right.

They have someone in contention for the Heisman, they need more “story” to sell their candidate and rolling out another movie from Hollyweird would be too obvious. (No offense to Ronaldus Magnus.)

Only a couple years ago Scam Newton was reputed to be a computer thief while attending then bounced from Florida, his father brazenly and unsuccessfully trying to con a contract from Mississippi State, then mysteriously ending up at Auburn where so much of Scam’s prior life was ignored by the NCAA (and Auburn’s now ex-coach) those few years ago.

viking01 on January 16, 2013 at 8:22 PM

He’s a young college football I’m sure he would have no trouble getting a girlfriend. He made up this story to get press and votes for the Heisman
terryannonline on January 16, 2013 at 8:17 PM

You are very wrong to assume that falling for someone online means the person has trouble finding a date in real life. This happens ALL THE TIME. Sometimes when the person is an imposter, they tell the other person everything that person wants to hear. It is a powerful thing.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 8:27 PM

terryannonline on January 16, 2013 at 8:17 PM

I am going to assume you are of an older generation. No offense intended. I understand why jt might be hard for some to understand. These days there is much less stigma surrounding online dating and hooking up. Online flirting does not equal inability to flirt or date in real life.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Wow, so many questions.

Why would he do this?
Who was involved?
Is he a cornball brother?

stout77 on January 16, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Well, it looks like that totally irrational desire I had for Notre Dame to get curbstomped by Alabama has retroactively been justified.

LukeinNE on January 16, 2013 at 8:39 PM

I am going to assume you are of an older generation. No offense intended. I understand why jt might be hard for some to understand. These days there is much less stigma surrounding online dating and hooking up. Online flirting does not equal inability to flirt or date in real life.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 8:30 PM

I’m 30 and single. I know about online dating. Usually online dating leads to an actual meet up. Why would a star football player settle for a “relationship” where he actually never meets the lady when he probably has plenty of young college chicks after him? And why would he go on and on in the press for someone he has never met!!!

terryannonline on January 16, 2013 at 8:40 PM

You are very wrong to assume that falling for someone online means the person has trouble finding a date in real life. This happens ALL THE TIME. Sometimes when the person is an imposter, they tell the other person everything that person wants to hear. It is a powerful thing.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 8:27 PM

…I think I know someone who has been burned EVERY time!…but hey! …she don’t like chit…chat…so I won’t assume anything and chit & chat about it.

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 8:42 PM

I am so disappointed that it seems no one got my Niagara Falls reference. :(

The Notorious G.O.P on January 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM

I am going to assume you are of an older generation. No offense intended. I understand why jt might be hard for some to understand. These days there is much less stigma surrounding online dating and hooking up. Online flirting does not equal inability to flirt or date in real life.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 8:30 PM

I am going to assume that you live in a bubble and have no friends, so you don’t know when you’re being patronizing. No offense intended.

sauldalinsky on January 16, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Another seemingly too good to be true story reveals itself to be exactly that.

Sigh.

rukiddingme on January 16, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Why would a star football player settle for a “relationship” where he actually never meets the lady when he probably has plenty of young college chicks after him? And why would he go on and on in the press for someone he has never met!!!
terryannonline on January 16, 2013 at 8:40 PM

College football players are like anyone else. Him being a football star doesn’t mean much here.

I know two people this same thing happened to. One guy thought he was talking to an Asian girl for years online. The whole thing was so real and important to him. He always expected to meet the “girl”, just like Manti probably did. Turns out my friend had been corresponding with a middle aged gay black guy. And my friend is perfectly capable of finding dates in real life. Online romantic interaction is not the “last resort” you make it out to be.

Don’t underestimate the power of someone wanting to buy into things they want to hear. Even if they might doubt the story at times, part if them still wants to believe it.

Even if you or I wouldn’t fall for such a thing, many regular, perfectly attractive and otherwise intelligent people do. Many people are just very gullible! It’s crazy, but it is very, very common.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I know two people this same thing happened to. One guy thought he was talking to an Asian girl for years online. The whole thing was so real and important to him. He always expected to meet the “girl”, just like Manti probably did. Turns out my friend had been corresponding with a middle aged gay black guy. And my friend is perfectly capable of finding dates in real life. Online romantic interaction is not the “last resort” you make it out to be.

Don’t underestimate the power of someone wanting to buy into things they want to hear. Even if they might doubt the story at times, part if them still wants to believe it.

Even if you or I wouldn’t fall for such a thing, many regular, perfectly attractive and otherwise intelligent people do. Many people are just very gullible! It’s crazy, but it is very, very common.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM

And he just so happened to be duped about the time he was in contention for the Heisman. Interesting.

terryannonline on January 16, 2013 at 8:54 PM

A private investigative firm looked into it and found evidence that there were in fact conspirators who pulled off the hoax on Te’o. Phone calls, online interaction, and all of that were documented.

The only inconsistency that seems to come up is the question of their having “met.” The Notre Dame version is that young people use the word “met” regularly to discuss online meetings. Possibly it’s just that he was embarrassed and didn’t want to cop to the fact that he and his girlfriend had never actually met.

The knee-jerk responses above are amusing to read though, at the very least. “Niagara Falls” was what came to mind when I first saw it as well.

vitocorleone99 on January 16, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Haven’t any of you known anyone duped by a fake profile?

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&tbo=d&spell=1&q=fake+profiles&sa=X&ei=n1r3UPrWAYWy2QXu4oDwCg&ved=0CCkQvwUoAA&biw=320&bih=504

Sounds like the guy who fooled Manti Teo knew exactly what to say to make him interested. Read the whole Deadspin piece.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 9:01 PM

These Te’o jokes are all very funny but let’s all try and remember that a person who never existed is dead.

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 9:03 PM

A private investigative firm looked into it and found evidence that there were in fact conspirators who pulled off the hoax on Te’o. Phone calls, online interaction, and all of that were documented.
The only inconsistency that seems to come up is the question of their having “met.” The Notre Dame version is that young people use the word “met” regularly to discuss online meetings. Possibly it’s just that he was embarrassed and didn’t want to cop to the fact that he and his girlfriend had never actually met.
The knee-jerk responses above are amusing to read though, at the very least. “Niagara Falls” was what came to mind when I first saw it as well.
vitocorleone99 on January 16, 2013 at 8:55 PM

EXACTLY!

It makes perfect sense.

Btw, people who first meet online often even make up stories to tell others when asked where they met.

I saw Manti in the interviews talking about this girl, and there is zero question in my mind he believed she was real. This is obviously very embarrassing for him, and I really feel for the guy.

bluegill on January 16, 2013 at 9:05 PM

A private investigative firm looked into it and found evidence that there were in fact conspirators who pulled off the hoax on Te’o. Phone calls, online interaction, and all of that were documented.

The only inconsistency that seems to come up is the question of their having “met.” The Notre Dame version is that young people use the word “met” regularly to discuss online meetings. Possibly it’s just that he was embarrassed and didn’t want to cop to the fact that he and his girlfriend had never actually met.

The knee-jerk responses above are amusing to read though, at the very least. “Niagara Falls” was what came to mind when I first saw it as well.

vitocorleone99 on January 16, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Nice try, but the conspirator was Manti Teo’s best friend! And did you listen to the interview he had with Jim Rome where he said he called her in the hospital, and that the doctors told him she couldn’t sleep and had to speak to him to sleep, and that they met after the Stanford game. Give me a break he was in on it 100%.

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 16, 2013 at 9:10 PM

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