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Manti Te'o Hoax

Woman in Cemetery Pic

Denies Connection

1/18/2013 6:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0118_donna_tei_videoDonna Tei -- whose picture was used as part of the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax -- says she and her family have never met the Notre Dame star and have no idea how she got roped into the scam. 

As TMZ first reported, a Notre Dame superfan (who we're calling "Jan") says she struck up an online friendship with a person claiming to be U'ilani Rae Kekua -- the older sister of Te'o's dead "girlfriend," Lennay Kekua.

U'ilani later sent a photo to Jan showing a woman at a cemetery -- and told her, "This is me and my family at Lennay's gravesite. We're spending the day here."

But the woman in the photo couldn't have been U'ilani -- 'cause U'ilani doesn't really exist.

TMZ tracked down the actual woman in the photo -- Donna Tei -- who lives in Carson, CA. When we asked Donna and her father if they had a connection to Te'o, he told us, "We don't even know the guy."

Tei's father went on to explain the photo is of his daughter, Donna, and his wife. He claims the pic was stolen off of Facebook.

So how -- and why -- did "Lennay" decide to steal Donna's cemetery pics? We would ask Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, but he seems to have gone into hiding.

0117_ronaiah_subasset_tmz

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47 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

She's baaaack    

I swear that every time TMZ puts up a newer part to the story I can hear the theme song to Hawaii 5-0. Da da da da da da ... da da da da da ... cue the waves ... cue the Polynesians

553 days ago
17.

steak man     

As Dr. House says everybody lies.

553 days ago
18.

There's a problem here    

With this story going on ad nauseum it would seem that if there was an internet woman catfishing him she would have been exposed by now. Is he or ND paying the other people to take a fall? Who was that Pooky or Phooky or whatever her name was child and why the hell was her picture put out there?

553 days ago
19.

Liz    

All the more reason not to use Facebook.

553 days ago
20.

liz    

Im so interested in this story i cant wait to find out the next piece of info

553 days ago
21.

JFO    

Worst photo shopped picture in the world - really???? Who would look at that and think it's real???

553 days ago
22.

@dyyhard    

TMZ will track your ass down.

553 days ago
23.

Suzie    

Ok - I know the story is confusing and for the most part TMZ has described things as clearly as possible. However in this last post you say "So how -- and why -- did "Lennay" decide to steal Donna's cemetery pics? We would ask Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, but he seems to have gone into hiding. " Pretty sure you mean U'ilani since Lennay was, in theory, deceased.

553 days ago
24.

Toallthehatersoftheworld    

He got catfish

553 days ago
25.

Truth    

THE FATHER IS LYING. THAT'S HIS WIFE? DAYYYYUUUUM SHE LOOKS YOUNGER THAN HIS DAUGHTER. TOTALLY FOTOSHOPPED AND A CRAP JOB AT THAT. #TRUTH!!

553 days ago
26.

YouDontSay    

ISN'T FACEBOOK LOVELY!

553 days ago
27.

alan brickman    

HE'S GETTING GAYER BY THE MINUTE!!! JUST COME OUT ALREADY!!

553 days ago
28.

Ima    

Too bad you reporters weren't looking into the whole story with the girlfriend in the first place. Harassing people like Donna who had nothing to do with this is sick. Leave the Te'i family alone!

553 days ago
29.

Dash    

This story has been 'fishy' from the get- go

553 days ago
30.

Edith    

Stupid story

553 days ago
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