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Manti Te'o

GF's Death was a HOAX

1/16/2013 2:01 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Notre Dame superstar linebacker Manti Te'o -- a 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist -- may have helped to trick the media into believing he had a girlfriend who died back in September ... when in fact, she never existed ... this according to Deadspin.com. 

The tragic storyline captivated the nation during Notre Dame's incredible 2012 season -- with countless stories from dozens of major media outlets detailing how Manti persevered after the death of his GF Lennay Kekua and had the season of his life.

Problem is, according to Deadspin, there is no hard evidence proving Lennay Kekua ever existed ... and no official records confirming a person by the name of Lennay Kekua passed away when Manti claims she died.

According to Deadspin, Manti and "Lennay" communicated through social media sites ... but the report suggests that "Lennay" was not a real person -- her account was controlled by someone purporting to be her.

Deadspin says the photos "Lennay" used to identify herself on social media sites were of a Southern California woman who has never met Manti Te'o.

The article also suggests Manti has a connection with the person suspected of acting as "Lennay" on Twitter -- and even goes as far to suggest Manti was in on the hoax because he knew the sob story would generate publicity.

FYI -- Manti is expected to be a high pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

So far, Manti has not commented on the story. We also tried to reach out to Manti -- but our efforts have been unsuccessful.

2:26 PM PT -- Notre Dame has released the following statement ...saying Te'o is merely the VICTIM in the hoax and not a participant. Here's the 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."

But something doesn't add up ... because Te'o's father had gone on record during the season saying Manti told him he and the GF would often meet up in Hawaii.

So was the father lying? Or was Manti lying?

Something ain't right.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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623 days ago


poor boy. haven't you seen catfish?

623 days ago


sounds like something from the movie and now tv show "catfish".....but honestly to get ur fame by saying someone is dead to get attention is just sick and wrong.

623 days ago


So, I had this exact same thing happen to me....back in January. Except the girl's name was sarah and she was stealing photos from another girl on twitter. I have the twitter name. The funny thing is THIS IS THE SAME ****ING PHOTO SENT TO MY PHONE. So the same chick who ****ed with my head ****ed with his? He needs his PR person to contact me asap. This **** blew my ****ing mind, man. WOW

623 days ago


"Manti told ND officials he had gone to Hawaii to meet Lennay in person on several occasions, but she never showed up." Just quoting the TMZ story above this one. How about we just see what happens this afternoon? It's a lot of speculation otherwise.

623 days ago


His name sounds like a gay sex move. "Hold still and I'll give you a Man Tie!"

623 days ago

a long time Leno fan!    

His girlfriend's a dude, look at that picture!!

623 days ago

a long time Leno fan!    

Think about it: This whole thing sounds like he was on a dating site specifically intended for men looking to hook up with other men who enjoy dressing up as women. He went to Hawaii to meet this "girlfrind" yet he the "chick" never showed up? Sounds like his "chick/girlfriend/she/male" OR Mant'i got cold feet and to save himself the "ball player" cried wolf.

623 days ago


A lot of lying going on on all levels....

622 days ago


This whole story is ridiculous. Everything about this makes me nauseous. If you have a website or would like to know your stats and worth, go to www.appraisemywebsite.com where you will get the most up to date stats and worth out there.

621 days ago
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