Tag Archives: Lennay Kekua

Deadspin Offers Detailed and Fair Explanation of Manti Te’o Girlfriend Hoax

BY STEVEN KUBITZA

Wednesday’s revelation by Deadspin.com about Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman finalist Manti Te’o was certainly a bold and controversial claim, but given its detail it is clear this was not a side project taken up by the writers.

Authors Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey did extensive research on the topic. They conducted background checks into the identity of the girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who appears to not be a real person. The perception is that the identity was that of a “catfish,” a term used to describe someone who uses a different identity online.

This part of the story sets up the possibility that Te’o was the victim of a hoax, but there are also points that make it seem like he may have been behind it all along.

Burke and Dickey did a great job posing both possible sides of the situation, without making accusations that could come off as too bold. They lean towards the side that he was behind the situation, but they posted his statement that said he was a victim. It is a fair and professional approach to a story of such magnitude.

While many media outlets have picked up on this story, it was Burke and Dickey who broke it.

They set up a basis of evidence that will be used to further investigate their claims, which will certainly be a popular topic in the near future.

Manti Te’o’s Girlfriend A Hoax

BY LORI RAUDIO

Most people who followed college football this season heard the story of Notre Dame player Manti Te’o. The Heisman candidate inspired thousands of people when he led the Fighting Irish to an undefeated season despite two devastating losses in his family: his grandmother and his girlfriend.

Te’o’s tragic tale consumed the media. His story was featured in Sports Illustrated and on College Gameday and became one of the biggest stories of the year. He even wrote a letter to a family who lost a child, identifying with their pain and offering comfort.

Today, however, the story came crashing down. In a story by Deadspin, authors Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey revealed Te’o’s girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, never existed. They found no record of her birth, no death certificate, and supposed pictures of her were traced to a different woman. This news broke on Twitter and immediately went viral.

Within a few hours of the article being published and the Twitter overload, Notre Dame and Te’o released statements. Both acknowledged the hoax as well as an ongoing investigation. Te’o called the situation “incredibly embarrassing to talk about,” and said the woman he thought he was in an online relationship played a sick joke.

This news leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Who is the woman Te’o thought he was dating? Where did Deadspin obtain its information, and why didn’t Te’o comment before the story broke?

With the way the media hyped Te’o’s story, it is simply shocking to believe it isn’t true. While I feel sorry for Te’o, I also feel a little betrayed. How long were we led to believe his story after he learned the truth?

More information will surely come out pending the investigation, and this story will surely be a headline in the media for the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see how Te’o’s fans react and how it affects his NFL prospects.