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.
Lennay Kekua's last words to Manti Te'o were not "I love you."
A friend of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo told us he was "80 percent sure" that Manti Te'o was "in on it," and that the two perpetrated Lennay Kekua's death with publicity in mind. According to the friend, there were numerous photos of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and Te'o together on Tuiasosopo's now-deleted Instagram account.
The sheer quantity of falsehoods about Manti's relationship with Lennay makes that friend, and another relative of Ronaiah's, believe Te'o had to know the truth. Mostly, though, the friend simply couldn't believe that Te'o would be stupid enough—or Ronaiah Tuiasosopo clever enough—to sustain the relationship for nearly a year.
A friend of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo told us he was "80 percent sure" that Manti Te'o was "in on it," and that the two perpetrated Lennay Kekua's death with publicity in mind.
We spoke with friends and relatives of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo who asserted that Ronaiah was the man behind Lennay. He created Lennay in 2008, one source said, and Te'o wasn't the first person to have an online "relationship" with her. One mark—who had been "introduced" to Lennay by Tuiasosopo—lasted about a month before family members grew suspicious that Lennay could never be found on the telephone, and that wherever one expected Lennay to be, Ronaiah was there instead.
"They started out as just friends," Te'o's father, Brian, told the Tribune in October 2012. "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."
Story of Manti Te'o girlfriend a hoax
“To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.”—Manti Te'o statement
These statements [from Notre Dame and Te'o] beget further questions. Who’s behind the hoax? How does the Tuiasosopo family figure into all this? Who’s really lying here? We have no idea what to think of any of this, but you’ll know more when we do.
Lennay Marie Kekua
highlighting a few letters gives you
Lennay Marie Kekua
LE – UKE – MIA
The actual word “leukemia” is right there in her name. With one connected fragment in each word. There’s no way that’s a coincidence.
ericb: The Taiwanese animators weigh in .
The Taiwanese animators weigh in .
Outsports.com, which is the leading website on all matters relating to gay athletes/gays in sports, is questioning Manti Te’o's sexual orientation in light of the story about his fake girlfriend. The site had the following headline as its featured story on Wednesday night: “Is Manti Te’o gay? Girlfriend hoax has many people asking.”
In the article, Cyd Zeigler Jr. says he was bombarded “on email, text, Twitter and phone calls about [Teo's] sexual orientation” in light of the story.
As NFL Retweet tweeted, ”If Manti Te’o ends up being the 1st openly gay NFL player, this would be the worst prelude imaginable.”*
Here's Everything The Media Screwed Up In Reporting The Story Of Manti Te'o's Fake Dead Girlfriend.
Journalism, Scientology, and Manti Te’o: Finding the Leper with the Most Fingers.
The alleged mastermind behind the Manti Te'o "fake" girlfriend hoax auditioned for NBC's "The Voice" and told an elaborate sob story to the producers.
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a high school quarterback turned religious musician, auditioned for the upcoming season of "The Voice," according to Us Weekly. Before singing, Tuiasosopo told an elaborate tale about a tragic car accident, which "people now think ... is fake" in light of the Te'o hoax.
Via Us Weekly:According to the source, Tuiasosopo told producers he and his cousins started a Christian band together and were on their way to perform at a youth conference in Nevada when they got into a "massive" car accident. He claimed a truck crashed into their vehicle, sending them flip-flopping all over the freeway. He also said doctors thought one of them might have been brain-dead, but miraculously, everyone was fine.
According to the source, Tuiasosopo told producers he and his cousins started a Christian band together and were on their way to perform at a youth conference in Nevada when they got into a "massive" car accident. He claimed a truck crashed into their vehicle, sending them flip-flopping all over the freeway. He also said doctors thought one of them might have been brain-dead, but miraculously, everyone was fine.
"If the Notre Dame linebacker at the center of the 'girlfriend hoax' story indeed constructed an elaborate cover story for his gay closet, as so many gay men do in worlds that demand they be heterosexual, the emotional jolt of humiliation and embarrassment at being exposed will be overwhelming. We've seen too many young people, particularly with backgrounds like Te'o's, growing up in the conservative, anti-gay Mormon church, pushed against the wall by homophobia and going to extreme lengths in denying their homosexuality, sometimes even harming themselves."
There are rumors swirling that Manti created a fictitious GF to take the pressure off him from teammates and others who felt he should be dating ...
On Wednesday, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o issued a statement characterizing himself as the victim of a hoax involving a fictitious girlfriend who faked her own death. On Friday, Te’o submitted to an off-camera interview in the presence of his lawyer that, absent thorough questions or detailed observations regarding his credibility from ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, operates as a press release masquerading as an actual interrogation.
The initial story at ESPN.com is basic and short, and it offers no opportunity to scrutinize anything about what Te’o said.
...“When [people] hear the facts, they’ll know,” Te’o said. “They’ll know that there is no way that I could be part of this.”
Fine. So when are we going to hear the facts? And from whom are we going to hear them?
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Blake.
At the age of 16, he found his way to several legal information forums, where he sought to learn how to become emancipated. His home life was shit, you see - his mother didn't work, her boyfriend was a drunk, and Blake was the one supporting the three of them. He desperately needed to get the hell out of there, but had no idea how.
He received some information at those boards (though the posts from that time period at Expertlaw were lost to a database failure), and was eventually granted permission by a judge to move out, since he was already supporting himself - not emancipated, exactly, but given permission to get out of there and not be dragged home as a runaway.
Time passed, and Blake remained at both of the boards he had joined, contributing to the communities that had given him guidance. People sort of took him under their wings. He was just a kid, after all, and trying to make it on your own is tough enough without being just a kid on top of it. When he was feeling poorly, the communities rallied around him, offering encouragement and support.
About a year ago, he really hit a very rough patch. One bit of bad luck after another left him in dire financial straits. He refused all help, asking only for prayers. Then an older poster convinced him to give her an address to which she could send small things - prepaid cards for cell phone minutes, grocery gift cards, and occasionally even cash. He provided his mother's address - they had largely reconciled, but he was determined not to move back home.
Cards were sent, thank you messages were received. For most of the year, it continued thusly, with various members of both forums sending things to help the kid out.
Then another disaster hit. And another, and another, and another, and the kid was pretty despondent. Some of the forum members convinced him to set up a PayPal account so they could help him out. He complied, but told them that they really didn't need to do that, he just wanted prayers. They ignored him and sent him money to help him get things sorted out.
And so it continued for another year. His 18th birthday arrived, and he was showered with well wishes and small gifts. He seemed cheerful and happy and continued to contribute to both communities.
But again, disaster struck and he grew increasingly despondent. He deleted his blog, prompting long time community members to wonder what the hell was going on. He finally answered their frantic missives, stating that he had simply been feeling terribly sorry for himself and deleted his journal in a fit of pique. He restarted his blog anew.
Life rolled on, and he occasionally mentioned in his blog that this or that situation was frustrating him, but that he was grateful for the prayers and support of his friends in the legal communities.
A few days ago, he posted a suicide note to his blog. No one knows exactly when it was posted, he had disabled the date stamping, but forum users who discovered it panicked, and the news spread like wildfire.
My inbox at ExpertLaw was crammed with pleas to try to trace Blake and make sure he was OK.
First I gathered information. Did anyone have his actual address? No. OK, his mom's address is a good place to start. What's her name? No one knew, but some quick sleuthing revealed it. What about a phone number? Blake's? His mother's? No one had either. Many searches and calling directory assistance revealed that the number was unlisted, but Boss is smart and Boss uncovered her phone number AND her husband's e-mail address.
Missy, they asked me, what will you do? Will you call the number or will you give it to us to call? What if Blake isn't OK? What if they don't know where Blake is?
Well, first, a call. I called the number Boss had found. There was no answer, so I left a message on the answering machine, explaining who I was and why I was calling. When the call was not returned in a couple hours, I opted to get law enforcement personnel involved.
First, I called the police department in Blake's mother's area to ask for a safety check. They refused, telling me the request had to come from another law enforcement agency. They told me to contact MY local police department. I tried contacting the Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol. No one answered, just lots of voice mail. I left a detailed message, and decided to try my local PD non-emergency number.
I went through SIX different officers, each asking me if I was stupid, what made me think they could help me? They didn't have jurisdiction in Pennsylvania! I know, I know, I explained, but the local cops in PA won't go to Blake's mom's to check on his safety unless you guys call and ask them to. Can't you just call? Dude posted a SUICIDE NOTE, for dog's sake! We can't do that. Is there any way you can help me find out how to get someone over there to check on him? NO, they would say, and transfer me to someone else.
The seventh cop was LIVID. What do you mean the local cops in PA wouldn't send a crew? Outrageous! When a citizen calls for a safety check because there has been what they believe to be a credible suicide threat, you send a damned crew! She would contact the local cops and yell at them. And she did.
Hoping Blake was OK, I e-mailed him and told him that he needed to respond to e-mail or PM or SOMETHING, because the cops were going to his Mother's house to see if he was OK.
An hour later, the Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol called me. The local PD is only a part time PD, so calls of this nature go to the State Highway Patrol. The Trooper on the phone was at the address I had given, there was only a 20-something year-old woman at home, and she said that she didn't know where Blake was. What was his name, again? Blake McGovern? I'm not finding a drivers license in the system for Blake McGovern. Did he maybe give you a pseudonym, ma'am?
Well, maybe, I allowed, and gave the Trooper a bit of background. He promised to swing by the residence every couple hours until the homeowners returned.
Ten minutes later, my e-mail popped up. Blake. "Tell everyone I'm fine."
I blew a gasket. No, Blake, not good enough, you get your ass over to EL RIGHT NOW and you check in with Betty and Cathie. Poor Bettie has been in tears all day, how could you go and frighten a little old lady like that, you asshole kid?
No sooner had I hit send, than my phone rang. Pennsylvania call.
The voice on the other end, warm, low, male, sounded a little irritated. My number is unlisted, he said. How did you get it? I explain who I am, and that we dug hard to find it, we needed to reach Blake's mother.
Blake? WHO IS BLAKE? OK, I need you to help me get to the bottom of this, he said.
I'm sorry, if I've gotten a wrong number, I do apologize. We're trying to check the safety of one of our forum users, he posted a suicide note.
I understand, he said. I don't know anyone named Blake, though. Blake who?
Blake McGovern. I'm really sorry to have disturbed you, I won't take up --
Let me stop you right there, he said, and tell you a story. A few weeks ago, on a Saturday, there was a bright yellow envelope in my mailbox, addressed to a Blake McGovern. Now, I don't know any Blake McGovern, I don't have neighbors, and it was sent to my address. So I opened it, because if it comes to my property, it's mine. It was a McDonald's gift card. So I used it. A few days later, my step-daughter started asking after "a package addressed to Blake McGovern, that's my eBay handle". And now, today, your message. McGovern is my mother in-law's maiden name.
A light went on, and a bell rang hard in my head.
We've been had, I said. I think so, he told me. I think you're looking for my step-daughter. She's well over 18. What has she been up to?
I tell him the tale from the beginning. He stops me at intervals, when I describe one of Blake's disasters. Happened around mid-April, yeah? He knew the timeline for every disaster. He'd kicked his stepdaughter out before for scamming, but when she was evicted in April, he mother insisted on taking her back in.
Blake McGovern is not a recently turned 18 year-old in need of a support network. Blake McGovern is actually a 24 year-old female with a history of scamming behavior and apparently a need of a shrink.
Where's this suicide note, he wanted to know. I had a sinking feeling when I typed in the blog address...it was gone. And because it had been so recently started and so lightly read, it was not in Google's cache, either. The Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol has the call where I'm reading it to the Trooper (at his behest). But it is no longer in tangible form.
She probably erased it as soon as the Trooper left. No one has been able to resurrect it from their browser caches. It's gone.
I called Boss and filled him in. What should we do with that account? He advised simply changing the e-mail and password so the account would no longer be accessible, but the posts would be preserved. Did I know anyone who had sent money? Had I? Sure, motherfucker got me for $50 back when "he" was in danger of losing power service. I know what it's like to be in trouble, and I'm a pay it forward kind of girl.
Contact PayPal, he told me, and report that account as fraudulent. Then contact everyone on the board that you know for sure sent money, tell them to do the same, and instruct them NOT to discuss this matter publicly. We don't need another Kaycee Nicole situation, our server couldn't handle it.
And here I am, today. I've got a trail of heartbroken users who thought they were helping a kid out. I've got a trail of law enforcement officers checking in for more information. Doesn't look like there's anything we can do to prosecute. She got a couple thousand dollars over two years from members of two forums, but because there was no coercion...but they're looking to see what they can do.
I spent all day yesterday, letting my work pile up, trying to prevent a suicide. Instead, I blew open a scam.
Her step-dad is willing to do whatever the authorities tell him to do. Who knows what the girl's mother is going to do?
I'm glad I don't live in that house.
I am exhausted and pissed and want to go talk to that girl with a crowbar.
So, how was your day?
Dead Letters: All The Hate Mail We’ve Received Since Publishing Our Manti Te’o Story
The gist of the on-camera interview given by Manti Te’o to Katie Couric seems to be the same as the primary content of the off-camera interview given by Te’o to ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. But the result is definitely being sold differently.
... The fact that Schaap’s interview didn’t create the same headline tells us all we need to know about the back-room back-scratching that resulted in ESPN getting to talk to Te’o away from cameras before he submitted to a televised interview with Couric, Oprah, or Dr. Phil. (According to the New York Times, those were the three finalists for the first televised TV interview, which is definitely better than having the first non-televised TV interview.)
... In the end, it appears that the Te’o camp played ESPN, and that everyone lost.
Ilana Gershon is a professor currently researching how people use the Internet to break up with their romantic partners, but before that she wrote an anthropological study about "strategic ignorance" in Samoan immigrant communities, all of which is just a complicated way of showing that she's the most unusually qualified person on the Internet to comment on the Manti Te'o hoax.
Yesterday news broke that Manti Te'o spent an inordinate amount of time — more than 500 hours — on the phone with the person he believed to be his fake girlfriend Lennay Kekua. According to the New York Daily News, the person Te'o was actually speaking to was Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the supposed mastermind of the hoax who impersonated a female voice.
"In an interview that aired today, Notre Dame quarterback Manti Te'o told Katie Couric that he's not gay when she asked him if he made up the dead girlfriend story to hide his sexual orientation."
All Football Players Are Suckers: An NFL No-Namer On His Catfishy Moment
Why, Why, Manti?
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