The hoax surrounding former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is leaving fans with more questions than answers.
Today, Deadspin released an article stating Te’o’s girlfriend, Lennay Kekua never existed. Originally it was reported his girlfriend died of cancer the same week that his grandmother died. Deadspin reports that she was created by a guy in Hawaii. There are questions about how much Te’o new about this.
Notre Dame was quick to defend Te’o, issuing the following statement:
“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.”
According to the article in Deadspin, Te’o had never even met Keuka; they had a long distance relationship for a year over the phone and online.
A federal investigation has been launched into the matter.