SOUTHBEND, Ind. - The death of his girlfriend catapulted Manti Te’o into the national spotlight early in the college football season but new information questions the validity of that story, or if his girlfriend, Lenny Kekua,ever existed.
Kekua was allegedly in a car wreck last fall and later died of leukemia leading up to Notre Dame’s game against tenth-ranked Michigan State.
According to Deadspin.com, none of those tragedies could have ever taken place because Kekua was a fictional online persona.
Her alleged university, Stanford, has no records of her attending classes and there are no records of a death by anyone matching her name.
The widespread picture that was tagged as Kekua is reportedly a women from California who has never met the Notre Dame linebacker.
Te’o developed an online relationship with Kekua a few years ago and now claims that he is the victim of a hoax, unaware the entire time that he was being led on.
Notre Dame was informed of the investigation on Dec. 26 and released the following statement saying Manti has been “the victim of what appears to be a hoax” meant to “entertain its perpetrators.”
Who is behind the online profile and Te’o’s involvement, if any, is under investigation by the university and officials.
Notre Dame released this statement:
“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.”