Archive for January 17th, 2013

Your Grandmother Really Did Die, Right?

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Manti Te’o is an All-American linebacker and superstar of the Notre Dame college football team. This season he played exceptionally well, inspired, he said, because his girlfriend and his grandmother died within hours of each other on September 11, 2012.  Fans were deeply moved by the man’s extraordinary courage and determination during his time of personal grief.

Te’o met Lanny Kekua, the girlfriend, online but never dated her in person.  They exchanged pictures and became, in his words, “emotionally involved.”  Te’o was motivated to play very hard for her because Kekua told him she had leukemia and wasn’t expected to live.

An obituary in the Honolulu Advertiser confirmed his grandmother’s death (age 72) but there was no death notice for girlfriend Kekua (22).

It now appears Te’o’s inspiring story was an elaborate hoax. There was no real “Kekua” and her FaceBook pictures were of someone else who never even heard of Te’o.  Uh – oh.

Te’o said, “This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about but over an extended period of time (1-year), I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online.  I grew to care deeply about her. To be the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke is painful and humiliating.’’