Report: Alleged hoaxster confessed to friend that he duped Manti Te’o

posted at 8:31 pm on January 18, 2013 by Allahpundit

If you’re following the story, the six-minute ESPN clip below is obligatory. The two people interviewed on camera, Vaosa and Tuioti-Mariner, should be familiar: They were the ones who were tweeting about Lennay Kekua being a fake two days before Te’o himself allegedly found out. How’d they know when he didn’t? Because, if they’re to be believed, alleged hoaxster Ronaiah Tuiasosopo ran this same scam on their cousin years ago. He may or may not have also tried to scam the show “The Voice” when he auditioned. As you’ll see, a friend of Tuiasosopo’s tells ESPN that he came to her crying in early December claiming that he’d duped Te’o; that timeline fits with the claim from Notre Dame that the hoaxster(s) finally ‘fessed up to Te’o on December 6. And one more thing fits: According to the friend, it wasn’t just Tuiasosopo but two of his cousins, one a man and one a woman, who were in on it. That explains how Te’o could have had long phone calls with Kekua and spoken repeatedly to her brother. If he’s telling the truth, he was probably unknowingly talking to the cousins.

But wait. It gets weirder:

Manti Te’o has told family and friends that the woman who was the voice of his fictitious girlfriend “Lennay Kekua” called him in December and said she had to fake her own death months earlier to elude drug dealers, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned.

The woman, who has yet to be identified, tried to re-engage a relationship with Te‘o months after she supposedly had died of leukemia in early September, the Notre Dame All-American linebacker has told the people close to him. The account was shared with the Star-Advertiser by a source close to the Te‘o family.

According to the account, Te’o asked the woman to transmit a photo to him with a date stamp, which she did, but this did not allay his suspicions and he later told his family and Notre Dame officials about being scammed.

So maybe that’s why Te’o didn’t tell anyone about the hoax until December 26. He was still in communication with “her” during that time and trying to figure out what was happening. (Or maybe he really did want to avoid distracting the team before the BCS Championship game. But in that case, why’d he tell Notre Dame officials about the hoax two weeks before the game was played? Why not after?)

So there you go. Mystery solved, all nice and tidy. Except for … just a few things.

1. We still don’t know why Te’o’s father thought his son and Kekua had met face to face at a game at Stanford in 2009 or why he thought she had visited Te’o in Hawaii.

2. Te’o and Tuiasosopo were friendly enough to have hung out together on November 23, along with Tuiasosopo’s cousin. That doesn’t prove anything either way. Maybe Tuiasosopo’s disturbed enough that he was happy to run this scam even on a guy who knew and liked him. Or maybe they were in cahoots. But they were, evidently, in contact shortly before the whole thing unraveled.

3. Te’o supposedly began dating someone else less than two months after Kekua died. That doesn’t prove anything either; people grieve differently, even over the death of the alleged “love of my life.” But remember that some Notre Dame teammates have been whispering to reporters that while they believed Kekua existed, they also believed that Te’o vastly exaggerated the extent of his relationship with her for sympathy. There remains a bizarre possibility here that he did have contact with someone whom he honestly thought was Lennay Kekua yet hyped the depth of their “romance” in order to burnish his personal narrative. One hoax on top of another, in other words, yet both independent of each other.

4. In the clip, ESPN says Tuiasosopo’s unnamed friend claims that he and both of his cousins impersonated female voices while on the phone with Te’o. What? One of the cousins is male, as is Tuiasosopo. How’d they fool him?

5. Vaosa, one of the people featured in the clip, apparently told ESPN that he thinks Te’o is innocent. Quote:

The cousins [Vaosa and Tuioti-Mariner] said they were convinced Te’o was being victimized, but they were uncertain of what to do. They said they began tweeting their suspicions.

Not so fast, says Deadspin. Vaosa told us something different:

Another one of Smith’s sources, a man named J.R. Vaosa, spoke to us for our original story, saying Tuiasosopo had confessed to his best friend. He tried to put us in touch with her, to no avail. Vaosa was one of our two unnamed sources who believed that Tuiasosopo had been in league with Te’o in the deception…

Vaoso, whose cousin had been duped by Lennay/Tuiasosopo in for a month in 2008, said he was “80 percent” certain that Te’o had known of the hoax at some point before Lennay’s “death.”

Why would Vaosa’s story have changed over the past week? Is there some new evidence he’s heard of to have changed his mind about Te’o’s guilt?


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Comment pages: 1 2

The names make this all the more difficult to take seriously.

Jeddite on January 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM

I’ve never been more confused. And I’m usually confused.

SparkPlug on January 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM

manti kinda fits into notre dames image. principles out the door. its all about their perceived greater good.

renalin on January 18, 2013 at 8:36 PM

If a Hollywood screenwriter had presented this as an idea for a movie – it probably wouldn’t have been accepted.

This is one odd story.

gophergirl on January 18, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Before we hit 100 comments on this one, you might as well add a link to the audio with Te’o’s uncle.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/prosecuted_family_speaks_says_alleged_UxneNQCa4GaqyehjjriduK?utm_source=SFnewyorkpost&utm_medium=SFnewyorkpost

The Tuiasosopo dude was trolling for monetary contributions to a nonexistent leukemia charity. For everyone who couldn’t find a motive, there you go. Te’o loses his “girlfriend” to leukemia, goes into the draft, becomes a big star… now you have a celebrity on your side.

The November meeting is also discussed at length by the uncle. That’s when the Te’o family froze out the con man. Coincidentally, a couple weeks later he tries to revive the dead girlfriend.

vitocorleone99 on January 18, 2013 at 8:40 PM

…I summon bluegill…she’ll have cyber sex with Manti!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

…I summon bluegill…she’ll have cyber sex with Manti!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Good one.

A Manatee is a large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammal sometimes known as a sea cow.

Lol

SparkPlug on January 18, 2013 at 8:47 PM

***** Alert *****

@BBCBreaking tweeted:

US @StateDept confirms US citizen Frederick Buttaccio died in hostage crisis at #Algeria gas field http://t.co/89RsDrRU

•1 hour agofrom twitter.com by editor

US official confirms identity of American killed in Algeria hostage situation, says Frederick Buttaccio’s remains recovered at plant – @NBCNews

•1 hour agofrom worldnews.nbcnews.com by editor

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Manti is a fraud.

Tasha on January 18, 2013 at 8:48 PM

**Alert Part Deux**

US officials: 1 American dead, 2 escape from Algerian hostage situation; 5 total Americans at plant – @NBCNews

2 hours ago from worldnews.nbcnews.com by editor

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

still don’t care.

rob verdi on January 18, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Didn’t Elvis have a song similar to this event–”Punka Punka Burning Love”?

arnold ziffel on January 18, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Why do I get the feeling that someone is being less than honest?

Pork-Chop on January 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Soap opera scriptwriters take note …

PatriotGal2257 on January 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 8:47 PM

another bump in the road.

renalin on January 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

The names make this all the more difficult to take seriously.

Jeddite on January 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM

You must not know any Samoans…

And “horsewhipping” is too easy for the hoaxster…

Khun Joe on January 18, 2013 at 8:53 PM

…I summon bluegill…she’ll have cyber sex with Manti!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Oh I bet she could really talk dirty if you brought up Palin—esp if you said Sarah was super hawt.

arnold ziffel on January 18, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Soooooooooooooooooooo,the girlfriend was actually,technically
a guy!!

Report: Woman says man identified as being behind Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax confessed to her in December – @espn

7 hours ago from espn.go.com by editor
===========================================

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8857057/friend-says-ronaiah-tuiasosopo-confessed-manti-teo-girlfriend-hoax

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 8:54 PM

A guy with male and female accomplices, yes.

vitocorleone99 on January 18, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Manti is one of the children. It really is that simple.

Until someone shows me an actual e-mail exchange between Manti and the hoaxster posing as the girlfriend I will believe none of it. There is no way they began talking on the phone right away. Manti is from a super conservative Christian family *and* a football star? Honey, it don’t take a mathematician to put 2 and 2 together on that one.

libfreeordie on January 18, 2013 at 8:56 PM

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 8:47 PM

another bump in the road.

renalin on January 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

yep.

Tim_CA on January 18, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Sorry but …ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

lexhamfox on January 18, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Why did they do it?

Steven Den Beste on January 18, 2013 at 9:04 PM

So, he couldn’t make a tackle in the Alabama game because he was:

(A) Sad his non-girlfriend might die again, now that she was alive?
(B) Sad his non-girlfriend wasn’t real in the first place?
(C) Sad his non-girlfriend was a guy/girl? With different voices?

Wasn’t as great as he was cracked up to be in the first place?

IndieDogg on January 18, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Perhaps Te’o should pass up the NFL for a career in professional wrestling. This sounds like something Vince McMahon and crew would come up with.

bw222 on January 18, 2013 at 9:05 PM

something about he thought that she was real, was real but actually a friend that thought she was real, and it turned out she wasn’t, but they got a real photo, and then the ones who thought she wasn’t real, believed she was real, then she died…but after she died he talked to her because he found out she wasn’t real, except for the real photo from a girl that didn’t die, from her boyfriend who knew the guy who thought the other girl was real in a cyber type sense, so the player cyberly became her boyfriend, but they never met, because she wasn’t real except for the real photos…now everyone is upset because the unreal girl didn’t die.

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Honey, it don’t take a mathematician to put 2 and 2 together on that one.

libfreeordie on January 18, 2013 at 8:56 PM

…honey…you got skrewed during your brain operation…what you thought was replacement brain tissue…was just a soft feces!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Fairy tales…

Big bruhaha over nothing… unless of course money was scammed…

Scrumpy on January 18, 2013 at 9:13 PM

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:11 PM

well said lmao…

Scrumpy on January 18, 2013 at 9:14 PM

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:11 PM

…you sound rather ‘progressive’ tonight!
(:->)

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 9:14 PM

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 8:47 PM

another bump in the road.

renalin on January 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

renalin:Thats two AQ Terrorist attacks against Team Democrat!:)

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 9:15 PM

I don’t quite understand this whole story. I don’t even understand why it’s a story. I really don’t understand why it seems to be a big story.

trigon on January 18, 2013 at 9:19 PM

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:11 PM

I’m glad someone understands. This whole thing is starting to vaguely sound like a lecture on quantum wave physics.

sharrukin on January 18, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Gotta be more important stuff to burn brain cycles on…

affenhauer on January 18, 2013 at 9:29 PM

sharrukin on January 18, 2013 at 9:20 PM

I hope everyone is kidding about understanding what is going on…I have never seen anything less important, more confusing…and the soap opera like defenders, it just gives us all an understanding of how someone like Obama got elected…these things just have a life of their own.

Amazing, and I think many of us are just watching, mesmerized by the foolishness.

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:30 PM

I don’t quite understand this whole story. I don’t even understand why it’s a story. I really don’t understand why it seems to be a big story.

trigon on January 18, 2013 at 9:19 PM

I am sorry you missed the point…it is so obvious, and quite frankly, so very important.

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Amazing, and I think many of us are just watching, mesmerized by the foolishness.

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:30 PM

I think it ranks up there with Honey Boo-Boo in importance, but it does have an entertainment value as they squirm around trying to shuffle the blame off somewhere else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZSlrrQaMTQ

sharrukin on January 18, 2013 at 9:36 PM

I am sorry you missed the point…it is so obvious, and quite frankly, so very important.

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:32 PM

because??…………….

congma on January 18, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Why would Vaosa’s story have changed over the past week? Is there some new evidence he’s heard of to have changed his mind about Te’o’s guilt?

Money…Money….Money….

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I think it ranks up there with Honey Boo-Boo in importance, but it does have an entertainment value as they squirm around trying to shuffle the blame off somewhere else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZSlrrQaMTQ

sharrukin on January 18, 2013 at 9:36 PM

We’re doomed buddy. Anyway best comment from your vid:

kimmilil 4 years ago

I think we should dress like this again just to embarrass our kids, they have their pants hanging off their asses so i think a little retribution is in order… anyone with me?? lol

arnold ziffel on January 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM

because??…………….

congma on January 18, 2013 at 9:38 PM

When something is so obviously important, when something is so apparent…it make you wonder how some can actually ask “because??”.

Your post worries me, not because of the question, but because you had felt you had to ask the question…it’s not a question of “because??”, it a statement of “because!”.

Because it’s important answers the question of “because?”, because it is important, not just because it is?

Hope that clarifies it, and you have a better understanding, because we care…don’t ask why, it’s just because.

right2bright on January 18, 2013 at 9:43 PM

I think we should dress like this again just to embarrass our kids, they have their pants hanging off their asses so i think a little retribution is in order… anyone with me?? lol

arnold ziffel on January 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM

lol

I could go for that.

sharrukin on January 18, 2013 at 9:44 PM

How much clearer does it have to get that this kid made the whole thing up? He claims to have met her…she doesn’t exist. The father claims she came to Hawaii…she never existed. He gave 4 or 5 different days for her death…she never existed or died. Even after he supposedly found out about it on December 6, he is quoted talking about her “death” even days later. After ND claims to have known about it, he talks about her in interviews at the BCS National Championship game. Why will so few writers have the guts to just come out and say the obvious…Te’o is a liar. He has to be a psychopath to say these things. A dear friend of mine has leukemia now…its not a joke Manti! If you want us to believe you, release all of your emails and phone records and we’ll see if you really did talk 8 hours a day with someone. I’m offended by Te’o and Notre Dame to think we are dumb enough to believe this. Just admit it, say you’re getting counseling, and live your life.

Seriously CUT THE BS Teo.

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 18, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Why would Vaosa’s story have changed over the past week? Is there some new evidence he’s heard of to have changed his mind about Te’o’s guilt?

Money…Money….Money….

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Bingo. Teo’s agent is spreading the money around, asking people to take the blame so this story doesn’t harm Teo’s draft stock anymore than it already has. What a circus.

Captain Kirock on January 18, 2013 at 9:46 PM

And ANOTHER thing: IF he loved her so much, how could he not know the extent of her injuries in the “accident.” Everything this guy says is BS. How the reporter missed the dozens of red flags in this interview is inexcusable. Also love how ESPN is trying to cover its butt with this BS about another Polynesian guy being duped by the same dude. What? Does this guy only dupe Polynesians, or is he related to Te’o? I’m sure ESPN won’t bother to check it out. ESPN and its sister network, ABC, love to report hoaxes as facts, remember the PG 11-y-o girl and the kid in the hot-air balloon? What frauds.

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 18, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Cha-ching

Philly on January 18, 2013 at 9:50 PM

As others have pointed out, even if you give him the complete benefit of the doubt (which you’d have to be insane to do) and believe him just to be “naive” and a “victim,” he still ends up looking like a loser:
1) She was the “love of his life” and he never felt any need to visit her once during the *months* she was in the hospital. After her life-threatening accident, during her cancer treatments. Nothing. Even when she (apparently) seemed to respond through her coma haze from the sound of his voice over the telephone, it never occurred to him to go to his soulmate’s side at the hospital. Heck, if she seemed to stir from her coma from just hearing his voice on the phone, maybe she’d make a miraculous recovery if he, you know, actual came in physical proximity to her–the love of his life.
2) He (and I’m guessing lots of younger people) thinks that a relationship exclusively based on text messages and online chat can be considered legitimate true love.
3) Assuming their bond (and her death) was real–or at least were real in his mind–he milked that relationship (and his loss) for all it was worth. Giving interview after interview, talking about it to the point where it felt like exploitation or exhibitionism. There used to be a show called the Jerry Springer Show where people did this stuff all the time.

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 18, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Now I’m beginning to wonder if some Madison Avenue P/R firm is doing a “perception management” number to shift all the blame to Ronaiah (& away from Te’o).

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 18, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Manti was duped. That is all there is to it.

I have said this from the beginning. It is NOT that difficult to understand how some online can fall for an online/phone acquaintance, especially one you are in contact with and sharing intimidate details with every day. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. His being a football player is really irrelevant. Chatting online does not mean someone can’t find dates in real life.

All you people claiming that Manti was part of some conspiracy or that he is gay (LOL) have egg on your faces.

I feel terrible for this guy.

The real villain here is the guy (and his accomplices) who faked the whole thing.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I don’t quite understand this whole story. I don’t even understand why it’s a story. I really don’t understand why it seems to be a big story.

trigon on January 18, 2013 at 9:19 PM

You are not alone.

katy the mean old lady on January 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I feel terrible for this guy.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

He’s no good for ya Bluegill.
He’ll just break your heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqBhlsDiA_o

How To Tell If He’s Lying

1. The story always changes.

He goes from tale to tale and details don’t seem to stay the same. He first told you he was out with the boys. Then, he said he was at happy hour with coworkers. If the inconsistency persists, he could be fibbing. The next step? We hate to suggest this, ladies — you may not have a choice — but do a little snooping. If he says he was with the boys, try to get the scoop from the boys.

3. The details are off.

Tim Roth in ‘Lie to Me’ FOX TV series – showing surprise Sometimes the details will be really obscure, or perhaps there are too many details. If your man gets too specific and is giving too much information, he may be compensating for something.People who are lying tend to over tell because they’re hiding the very thing that they’re revealing. If the man in question is giving you random details about an event or story, pry a little bit — ask some questions about said details. See if he trips on the specifics.

4. He’s done it before.

Okay, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to tell you that if he has lied before, he may lie again. Not to throw the man under the bus or anything — of course, it would also depend on what he’s lied about in the past — but you can never trust someone who’s capable of making up stories too easily.Now for the next step… If he’s made lying a habit and the lies are too huge to ignore and forget, you may want to consider leaving the relationship. If he lies here and there, and they’re minor fibs, talk to him and get to the bottom of what’s with all the lies. It might be the result of an insecurity. And if that’s the case, then reassure him that he can be honest with you.

sharrukin on January 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I am astonished to see so many HoAir readers are apparently clueless about how easy and common it is for people to get crushes on, and feel very close to, someone you talk to regularly online or on the phone… even without ever meeting in real life. Either many of you are just of an older generation (and therefore are understandably unaware of how many romantic relationships are started and maintained online), or you people are just clueless about what is going on in the world.

Manti probably just assumed he would meet her one day, but didn’t want to tell people they hadn’t met in person yet. Apparently the hoax perpetrator kept making excuses and canceling the meetings. Yes, Manti was naive and gullible. Duh! But this hoax situation is hardly an uncommon phenomenon. Imagine how embarrassed he must have felt when he found out. That girl had probably felt as real to him as anyone he knew in real life, but maybe he was building her up more in his mind, making her even more of an important figure to him.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Assuming their bond (and her death) was real–or at least were real in his mind–he milked that relationship (and his loss) for all it was worth. Giving interview after interview, talking about it to the point where it felt like exploitation or exhibitionism. There used to be a show called the Jerry Springer Show where people did this stuff all the time.

Raquel Pinkbullet on January 18, 2013 at 10:06 PM

This was his biggest mistake of all, not unlike Obama using the dead children of Newtown as his human shield on gun control. Using a dead girlfriend, whether real or not, to garner sympathy (and feel-good bullshit) for his Heismann run is a far worse reflection on his character than anything else.

Then again, I believe T’eo was in it on from the beginning, his friendship and connection to the Tuiasosopo character too convenient. Even if that guy catfished someone before, as alleged, I can see the two of them discussing how easy it was to do and that T’eo could use the scam to improve his Heismann prospects (and the NFL draft payday for both of them later on).

TXUS on January 18, 2013 at 10:29 PM

I think it’s so funny how Allahpundit keeps calling this a “weird” story.

This is such an everyday occurrence.

Wow, someone created a fake online profile of a pretty girl and suckered in a guy to falling for it.
Quick, stop the presses! Let’s all talk about how unbelievably shocking this is.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Wow, someone created a fake online profile of a pretty girl and suckered in a guy to falling for it.
Quick, stop the presses! Let’s all talk about how unbelievably shocking this is.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Well, given that the same guy who allegedly fell for the scam also lied about it and tried to profit from the death of a woman he never met and disgustingly used her death to advance his own publicity campaign for a silly little statue, yeah I could see why AP thinks that’s a weird story.

Captain Kirock on January 18, 2013 at 10:41 PM

I am astonished to see so many HoAir readers are apparently clueless about how easy and common it is for people to get crushes on, and feel very close to, someone you talk to regularly online or on the phone… even without ever meeting in real life. Either many of you are just of an older generation (and therefore are understandably unaware of how many romantic relationships are started and maintained online), or you people are just clueless about what is going on in the world.

Yeah, we’re a bunch of old geezers that can’t fathom such a relationship or what’s going on in the world. Hell, I can’t even find lips to kiss or a place to plug my personal equipment into on this machine thing I’m typing on right now. Sure don’t want to sleep with it either.

TXUS on January 18, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Sounds to me like a mix of stuff going on here.

1: Manti was being hoaxed. He’s coming across as gullible enough for it. I’ve often been surprised how even intelligent people can let themselves get stringed along by an obvious hoax just because it’s a lie they really want to believe. To me the fact that the details are a little rough but the core stays the same suggests he was truly hoaxed. If he was in on it I’d expect either a much more clear conflict on the essentials (assuming he’s an incompetent liar), or a stubborn insistence on a story that doesn’t change (a skilled liar).

2: Manti was deceiving people about the extent of the relationship. Perhaps because he was embarrassed that they hadn’t met yet. Perhaps because he was deceiving himself a bit as well. Perhaps because all the reporters and everyone wanted a good story and T’eo thought he could provide one with only a few embellishments- after all who doesn’t embellish a little when telling a good story? Especially when the audience wants you to.

3: Manti found out what was going on and was very confused by it. Once he told people, damage control teams got involved and started trying to spin everything.

Result: Lies within lies, within lies.

Sackett on January 18, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Manti Te’o and Barack Obama went to the same high school – Punahou. So there’s that.

redwhiteblue on January 18, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Te’o supposedly began dating someone else less than two months after Kekua died.

Like I was saying when the story first came out…..Te’o is a star football player…..why in the world would he settle for a girl he’s never met when he probably has girl chasing him? Doesn’t make sense. I think he’s lying and was in it. He wasn’t duped.

terryannonline on January 18, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Te’o supposedly began dating someone else less than two months after Kekua died.
Like I was saying when the story first came out…..Te’o is a star football player…..why in the world would he settle for a girl he’s never met when he probably has girl chasing him? Doesn’t make sense. I think he’s lying and was in it. He wasn’t duped.
terryannonline on January 18, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Obviously he wasn’t “settling” in his mind. Your assumption that someone would regard a long-distance relationship as “settling” is what is throwing you off.

The fact that Teo actually cared about the girl’s personality and her values and the emotional connection he had with her more than he cared about getting laid every night says something GOOD about his character and about the kind of husband he will make one day.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Bluegill is starting to get creepy. Ok, Gil…we get it. U like online romance. Quit trying to convince us all how “normal” you are.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Sackett on January 18, 2013 at 10:44 PM

I think you have it about right.

However, you make it sound like all parties were deceiving to an equal degree. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It wasn’t like Teo went around making a big point of the idea that they had met in person. He always emphasized what the girl meant to him, how he respected her, and how important he viewed their relationship. His father might have asked him once, “when did you meet her?” and he might have answered “at the Stanford game,” and then moved on to something else. It is very understandable why he would feel a little embarrassed about admitting that they had never met in person. He probably assumed that they would soon meet in person.

The problem with your “everyone was deceiving” approach is that it removes much of the blame from that Ronaiah T. character and his accomplices. THAT is where most of the blame ought to be directed. THAT is the person who has a lot of explaining to do.

Yes, Teo was naive and gullible, but he doesn’t deserve this vitriol being directed at him all because he fell for and deeply cared about (who he thought was) a suffering girl!

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:29 PM

Bluegill is starting to get creepy. Ok, Gil…we get it. U like online romance. Quit trying to convince us all how “normal” you are.
CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 11:25 PM

I think you’re just mad that I said that many of the Teo bashers are probably of an older generation. It’s okay, you can go back to watching your Jeopardy” and getting ready for bed.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 PM

I think you’re just mad that I said that many of the Teo bashers are probably of an older generation. It’s okay, you can go back to watching your Jeopardy” and getting ready for bed.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 PM

OK, get on the phone so you can hear me sleep.

arnold ziffel on January 18, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Bluegill is starting to get creepy. Ok, Gil…we get it. U like online romance. Quit trying to convince us all how “normal” you are.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Lol! Creepy and delusional.

Fess up bluegill: you went to Notre Dame, right?

Because only Notre Dame honks are buying this bulsh*t story from Teo.

Captain Kirock on January 18, 2013 at 11:38 PM

The fact that Teo actually cared about the girl’s personality and her values and the emotional connection he had with her more than he cared about getting laid every night says something GOOD about his character and about the kind of husband he will make one day.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM

He cared so much that he never visited her, didn’t know when she graduated, didn’t know what her injuries were when she got in a life threatening crash, and didn’t know the details of how she died. Yeah, sounds like she was really the “love of his life”.

HidetheDecline on January 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Captain Kirock on January 18, 2013 at 11:38 PM

I know that many regulars on here have little hissies and try to attack when people with opposing views post comments, but that’s just too bad. Not everyone is buying your “Manti is a lying monster” garbage. Deal with it. The more evidence that comes out, the worse you knee-jerk Teo-bashers look. Some, like Terryonline, expressed their skepticism in a more reasonable fashion, but some of you rejoicing over learning of this unfortunate situation, and viciously attacking Teo over it, ought to be ashamed.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:46 PM

I think you’re just mad that I said that many of the Teo bashers are probably of an older generation. It’s okay, you can go back to watching your Jeopardy” and getting ready for bed.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 PM

No, I am quite familiar with all of this sort of nonsense. I am quite a bit younger than you assume. Also,
I know that only an idiot in one of these vague online relationships you are so fond of would go on national TV and give the impression that it was a traditional boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic. That is the part that doesn’t jibe.

Now, close hotair and get back to your chatroom.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 11:48 PM

HidetheDecline on January 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Apparently the hoax perpetrator and his accomplices came up with all kinds of excuses and explanations about why those things wouldn’t be possible. Do you know what was said in their daily phone chats? No, you don’t. So you are in no position to say he “didn’t care” enough to try to visit.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:49 PM

Apparently the hoax perpetrator and his accomplices came up with all kinds of excuses and explanations about why those things wouldn’t be possible. Do you know what was said in their daily phone chats? No, you don’t. So you are in no position to say he “didn’t care” enough to try to visit.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:49 PM

And you are in no position to saying he did care.

HidetheDecline on January 18, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Bluegill…you do realize that you adamant defense of this is like really odd, right? And you can try and pretend we think that because we are all old and don’t understand how this crazy innernets works. But we understand it well.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM

The more evidence that comes out, the worse you knee-jerk Teo-bashers look. Some, like Terryonline, expressed their skepticism in a more reasonable fashion, but some of you rejoicing over learning of this unfortunate situation, and viciously attacking Teo over it, ought to be ashamed.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:46 PM

I will take that as an admission that you went to Notre Dame.

Here’s a little something you might want to remember: people don’t like it when they are lied to. People don’t like it when they hear someone’s terrible story, feel sympathy and sadness for that person, and then learn that the whole thing was a fraud and was exploited for all its worth just so some guy can win a little statue.

Teo never met this girl, yet he was crying about how he lost the love of his life. Then less then two months later after her death he starts dating someone else, while still proclaiming how he has dedicated his season to his one great lost love. Oh, and he never tried to visit her grieving family or visit her grave, even though he was just 10 miles away from where she was supposed to be buried.

No one is buying it, except Notre Dame honks.

Captain Kirock on January 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM

The fact that Teo actually cared about the girl’s personality and her values and the emotional connection he had with her more than he cared about getting laid every night says something GOOD about his character and about the kind of husband he will make one day.

bluegill on January 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Why would anyone choose an online relationship over a relationship where you get to see the person every day?

I’m sorry bluegill…..I just don’t believe he was duped. It’s all just too convenient for him.

He just happened to be duped while he was in contention for the Heisman?

He adds this detail about someone who has never met!

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:08 AM

And I will eat major crow if more evidence comes out that he was duped. So far I’m not convinced.

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Why would anyone choose an online relationship over a relationship where you get to see the person every day?

I’m sorry bluegill…..I just don’t believe he was duped. It’s all just too convenient for him.

He just happened to be duped while he was in contention for the Heisman?

He adds this detail about someone who has never met!

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:08 AM

From the way he described her love of Heavenly Father and all that other stuff, it sounds like the perps did a pretty solid job of making “her” more ideal than any Mormom girl he was going to meet at a Catholic college.

A lot of real-life people suck, believe it or not. So when you have class and workouts and practice and team meetings every day, maybe it’s more appealing to be told exactly what you want to hear every night by someone far away.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:17 AM

A lot of real-life people suck, believe it or not. So when you have class and workouts and practice and team meetings every day, maybe it’s more appealing to be told exactly what you want to hear every night by someone far away.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:17 AM

My biggest issue with his story is how everything is so convenient for Manti. Someone plays a joke about a dead girl just in time to tell the sports press to prop up his chances to get attention for his Heisman contention? Riiiiight

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:26 AM

My biggest issue with his story is how everything is so convenient for Manti. Someone plays a joke about a dead girl just in time to tell the sports press to prop up his chances to get attention for his Heisman contention? Riiiiight

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:26 AM

And the person responsible for the hoax just happens to be Teo’s cousin whom he speaks with on a regular basis? Give me a break.

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:31 AM

I sometimes forget how little people here know about football. On the weekend that she “died,” Notre Dame was coming off a pitiful performance against an awful Purdue team. A 9-3 season was going to be a pretty good outcome for them, if they were lucky. Te’o was on the watch list of exactly zero Heisman voters. Oh, and he’s a linebacker.

The idea that the “death” was somehow related to the Heisman is beyond stupid. His grandmother really did die that day. If he needed some personal tragedy to win the Heisman, even though nobody on earth was even entertaining the prospect of him becoming a Heisman candidate, then the dead grandma would have been fine. If he wanted to introduce a dead girlfriend into the story, it would have made more sense to do so later in the season when he actually was a candidate but Johnny Manziel was starting to get all the press.

And regarding more evidence and eating crow and whatnot, it’s coming out slowly but steadily (USA Today most recently). Those who are dug in refuse to see it, but the kid was just a gullible nerd.

The Tuiasosopo kid, on the other hand, is a sociopath. He was trying to con these athletes into helping him with a nonexistent leukemia charity. When Teo’s uncle smelled a rat, the whole thing started to fall apart. As recently as the meeting at USC in November, the dude was using his little sister to pose as the ‘cousin’ of Lennay Kekua.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:35 AM

And the person responsible for the hoax just happens to be Teo’s cousin whom he speaks with on a regular basis? Give me a break.

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:31 AM

You’ve said that eight times and it hasn’t been true in any of them.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Te’o was on the watch list of exactly zero Heisman voters. Oh, and he’s a linebacker.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought I read somewhere he came in second in votes. If he had no chance of winning the Heisman why did he come in second?

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought I read somewhere he came in second in votes. If he had no chance of winning the Heisman why did he come in second?

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Three months later, after his team went undefeated and people like Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, and Colin Klein slipped back, he came in second. Nobody considered him a candidate to start the season.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:40 AM

And the person responsible for the hoax just happens to be Teo’s cousin whom he speaks with on a regular basis? Give me a break.

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:31 AM

You’ve said that eight times and it hasn’t been true in any of them.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Yes it is. The hoaxer is one of Teo’s cousins and he regularly sent tweets and emails to Teo. They saw each other in November in LA. Look it up.

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Nobody considered him a candidate to start the season.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:40 AM

What’s important to me is was he in contention when the supposed hoax happened?

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Yes it is. The hoaxer is one of Teo’s cousins and he regularly sent tweets and emails to Teo. They saw each other in November in LA. Look it up.

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:43 AM

They’re not cousins, for starters. How about you produce some evidence of that and we’ll pick it up from there.

(Hint: Don’t bother because you’re wrong.)

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:47 AM

What’s important to me is was he in contention when the supposed hoax happened?

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:44 AM

No, absolutely not. Two weeks later, after the Michigan game in which he dominated and intercepted two passes, he showed up at #10 (aka last) on the ESPN tracker. Whoever finished at #10 in the Heisman vote this year probably got two votes from his hometown sports writers and that’s it.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:49 AM

They’re not cousins, for starters. How about you produce some evidence of that and we’ll pick it up from there.

(Hint: Don’t bother because you’re wrong.)

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:47 AM

From the original Dead Spin article:

Te’o and Tuiasosopo definitely know each other. In May 2012, Te’o was retweeting Tuiasosopo, who had mentioned going to Hawaii. Wrote Te’o, “sole”—”bro,” in Samoan—”u gotta come down.” In June, Te’o wished Tuiasosopo a happy birthday. How they know each other isn’t clear. We spoke to a woman we’ll call Frieda, who had suggested on Twitter back in December that there was something fishy about Lennay Kekua. She was Facebook friends with Titus Tuiasosopo, so we asked her if she knew anything about Ronaiah.

“Manti and Ronaiah are family,” she said, “or at least family friends.” She told us that the Tuiasosopos had been on-field guests (of Te’o or someone else, she didn’t know) for the Nov. 24 Notre Dame-USC game in Los Angeles. USC was unable to confirm this, but a tweet from Tuiasosopo’s since-deleted account suggests he and Te’o did see each other on that West Coast trip. “Great night with my bro @MTeo_5! #Heisman #574L,” Ronaiah tweeted on Nov. 23, the night before the game.

That enough evidence for you? or are you going to continue to be willfully blind?

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:53 AM

What’s important to me is was he in contention when the supposed hoax happened?

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Yes, Notre Dame was pushing Teo for the Heisman well before the season started. He was on most analysts’ top 10 watch list at the start of the season.

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:56 AM

What’s important to me is was he in contention when the supposed hoax happened?

terryannonline on January 19, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Cousins? Nope.
Emails? Nope.
Talked all the time? Nope.
“At least family friends?” Sort of. The Te’o family and the Tuisasosopo family are known to each other.

“Frieda,” by the way, is Celeste Tuioti-Mariner. Find her interview on ESPN and she what she has to say.

Te’o wished a guy happy birthday and encouraged him to visit Hawai’i after the guy had mentioned going there? Holy smokes, that’s some Woodward & Bernstein stuff you got there.

Who’s being willfully blind here? You’re seeing what you want to see, which is your right, but every piece of evidence that has come out has backed up the fact that Te’o was just naive and gullible. He lied to his father about how he met his girlfriend. Beyond that he was just a sucker.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:59 AM

Quoted the wrong one there, but you get the point.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 1:06 AM

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 12:59 AM

Lol. You conveniently left out the the fact that the hoaxer saw Teo the night before the ND/USC game.

Look, I gave you the facts as presented in the original article. As far as I know, they have not been refuted by any other member of the media. You choose to not to believe it, go right ahead but Teo and this hoaxer knew each other.

And Teo did not just lie once to his father. He lied to the media on at least 4 different occasions in December and January, including before the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He also lied about meeting this woman and about her being the love of his life.

Because you are bending over backwards to believe Teo, I assume you went to Notre Dame?

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Because you are bending over backwards to believe Teo, I assume you went to Notre Dame?

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 1:09 AM

and Penn State.

arnold ziffel on January 19, 2013 at 1:11 AM

Yes, Notre Dame was pushing Teo for the Heisman well before the season started. He was on most analysts’ top 10 watch list at the start of the season.

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Now you’re not even pretending to have an interest in the truth.

I tried posting with the links, but my posts aren’t showing up.

ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Heismanpundit, and Yahoo Sports all list anywhere from 10 to 20 preseason candidates. Te’o is not on any of the lists. Not one. SI even had a special category for a defender. They picked Jarvis Jones. This stuff is all readily available from a quick Google search.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 1:13 AM

Lol. You conveniently left out the the fact that the hoaxer saw Teo the night before the ND/USC game.

Look, I gave you the facts as presented in the original article. As far as I know, they have not been refuted by any other member of the media. You choose to not to believe it, go right ahead but Teo and this hoaxer knew each other.

And Teo did not just lie once to his father. He lied to the media on at least 4 different occasions in December and January, including before the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He also lied about meeting this woman and about her being the love of his life.

Because you are bending over backwards to believe Teo, I assume you went to Notre Dame?

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 1:09 AM

He met Tuiasosopo for the first time that day. He was expecting to meet one of Lennay’s sisters. Tuiasosopo brought the little girl and said it was Lennay’s cousin. That pretty much destroys your Deadspin piece right there. This is the funniest thing about this whole episode. Here, on a conservative website, where everyone should know the value of muckraking leftist websites, you’re willing to pretend that conjecture is fact.

You’re pretty sure that he lied to the media four times, after he knew about the hoax. You’re operating with incomplete information. He received a phone call on the 6th from someone claiming to be Lennay. You (and your knee-jerk brethren) take this to mean that he knew there was never a Lennay. That makes no sense, but that’s the Deadspin narrative and you’re gonna run with it. If she said she was Lennay, he was sure as heck going to be confused. But “well I guess it was all a hoax then” is not the logical conclusion.

You’ve posted in multiple threads that he mentioned her right before the NC game. This is objectively false.

You’ve posted that they were related. This is objectively false.

You’ve posted that he was on preseason watch lists. This is objectively false.

I didn’t go to Notre Dame and I have no vested interest here. But the extent to which some of you are willing to disregard what is right in front of you, and more comes out every day, while you lecture people who haven’t jumped to a conclusion, is bizarre. Most of the “facts” of which you’re so certain either don’t exist or back up Te’o’s story.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 1:22 AM

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 1:13 AM

Are you seriously saying that Notre Dame was not pushing Teo as a Heisman candidate at the start of the season???

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 1:23 AM

Are you seriously saying that Notre Dame was not pushing Teo as a Heisman candidate at the start of the season???

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 1:23 AM

Yes. And since you’re so certain I’m wrong, feel free to demonstrate otherwise.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 1:29 AM

I’m sorry but after seeing the Schaap info I just gotta say this….THIS DOESNT PASS THE SMELL TEST….Yeah, thats great if he sounds credible to a bunch of media people, but as a normal middle class American I can say…..I know what a liar sounds like.
Have you noticed how this “story” seems so murky? That’s what pathological liars do, they muddy the waters….sorry Manti, but if I am an NFL GM I say, “I pass, move on to the next one….”

TheRook on January 19, 2013 at 1:34 AM

Yes. And since you’re so certain I’m wrong, feel free to demonstrate otherwise.

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 1:29 AM

Here, first link I found. From Scout.com, dated January 6, 2012, Teo is listed as a Heisman candidate. Teo is listed third after then front runner Matt Barkley.

Scout

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 1:34 AM

Here, first link I found. From Scout.com, dated January 6, 2012, Teo is listed as a Heisman candidate. Teo is listed third after then front runner Matt Barkley.

Scout

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 1:34 AM

Scout is a recruiting site, which you conveniently selected over the major sports networks, and it’s the only one to list Te’o. You’re not fooling me, man. Maybe some of the other people here don’t know any better but I do.

He was on most analysts’ top 10 watch list at the start of the season.

Captain Kirock on January 19, 2013 at 12:56 AM

vitocorleone99 on January 19, 2013 at 1:37 AM

Why would deadspin be pointing the finger at Manti? Easy they have a vendetta against Mormons. They have thrashed jimmer fredette and tried to make Byu look racist when Brandon Davies got kicked off the basketball team for having sexton. They have published articles filled with lies written by a former byu professor with an axe to grind after being fired. Their modus operandi is to spin the story to make the mormon look bad.

rushlimbang on January 19, 2013 at 1:44 AM

Time to pull down the curtain….either Manti is a pathological liar or an idiot…either way, I don’t need him on my team….

TheRook on January 19, 2013 at 1:47 AM

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