The folks over at Deadspin came up with a staggering read that intimated the story about his girlfriend who died of Leukemia was all made up...
From Burke and Dickey is the end game in all of this:
"There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te'o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te'o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te'o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te'o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te'o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te'o that she was dead. Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest."
And we imagine that Gene Wojciechowski is BEYOND PISSED about right now...
Te'o issued a statement trying to explain the whole thing away:
"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."
Te'o is now saying that the activities that he may or may not have engaged in with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo didn't happen as partners, but that he was duped.
As well as, perhaps, Notre Dame...
((HT: Notre Dame Athletics))
The University of Notre Dame released this statement tonight.
“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.”
Angelo Di Carlo, Sports Director at WNDU-TV in South Bend, called the University’s Sports information department and asked:
"Manti has said multiple times he went to bed talking to Lennay on the phone. How did he not know of her existence? I’m confused on that aspect not addressed in this statement."
Notre Dame's response:
"This apparently was a virtual relationship”
So, then he lied about talking to her on the phone in his own statement released this afternoon...???
Which is it, folks...??? Get your multiple stories straight...
Kinda like in this interview with Notre Dame's Kate Sullivan...
Te'o wastes NO TIME discussing Lennay Kukua...
((HT: Notre Dame Athletics))
If what Te'o is saying NOW is true, then what is the first FOUR MINUTES of the above interview...???
And the Eric Hansen article in the South Bend Tribune from October 12th, 2012 is a complete fabrication, then...???
((nb: The Tribune, apparently, has taken the article down, but it still exists hyah...))
The whole Hansen bio piece details the PHYSICAL MEETING between Te'o and Lennay Kukua in 2009 on the Stanford campus...
"They started out as just friends," Brian Te'o said. "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. But within the last year, they became a couple.
"And we came to the realization that she could be our daughter-in-law. Sadly, it won't happen now."
So then, has Notre Dame been duped...??? Or are they just as complicit in the spin...???
How deep is the family in the story if both Manti and Brian are both cognizant of the physical presence in a woman that did not exist as a physical being...???
We're just getting started...
Hey, remember Lance Armstrong is appearing with Oprah tomorrow...???
2100 UPDATE: We may have an answer...
Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick came to the defense of Te'o this evening...
“He became startled, shocked. That was absolutely the first sign,” Swarbrick said. "It goes to my comments about Manti and his character. Every single thing about this until that day in the first week of December was real about this to Manti. There was no suspicion that it wasn’t, no belief that it might not be. The pain was real, the grief was real, the affection was real.”
Here's the transcript of the presser, thanks to WNDU-TV
2300 UPDATE: In another interesting twist, Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Mauia says that he actually met Kekua before her alleged time with Manti Te'o. It came from a meeting in American Samoa during NFL charity work in 2011- two years after the first alleged meeting between Te'o and Kekua at Stanford in 2009.
"She was tall," he said. "Volleyball-type of physique. She was athletic, tall, beautiful. Long hair. Polynesian. She looked like a model ... "
And he did say that yes, Kekua did exist when he was told that she may be a fake...