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Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

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Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby kurt_w » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:17 am

What a crazy (and pathetic) story.

Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax

All of those photographs—with one important exception—came from the private Facebook and Instagram accounts of Reba [...] That photo hadn't appeared on the internet—at least, not to Reba's knowledge. She had taken it in December 2012 and sent it directly to an old high school acquaintance. [...]

And now here it was on a dead girl's Twitter profile. After googling Lennay Kekua's name, Reba began to piece things together. She called up the classmate. He expressed alarm, Reba told us later, and "immediately began acting weird." "Don't worry about it," he told her. Moments after the phone call, Reba's picture was removed from the @LoveMSMK Twitter profile. Then, in a series of lengthy phone calls, Reba told us everything she knew about the classmate, a star high school quarterback turned religious musician named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.


Read the whole thing. It's mind-boggling.

Manti Te'o now says that he was taken in by a hoax:

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. [...] 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. Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.


But ... the stories describing their "relationship" seemed to suggest that they met in person; it wasn't just an online romance. If so, was Te'o in on the hoax from the beginning? Or did Tuiasosopo gradually ensnare Te'o in the hoax to the point where when he found out, he felt he had no choice but to continue playing along?

Either way, what an awful experience for everyone involved.
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby O.J. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:59 am

kurt_w wrote: Or did Tuiasosopo gradually ensnare Te'o in the hoax to the point where when he found out, he felt he had no choice but to continue playing along?


This seems like the most plausible scenario to me. There is absolutely no way that Te'o didn't know of the hoax until the story broke. He said that this girl was the love of his life, but he didn't visit her in the hospital after her car crash, didn't visit her in the hospital while she was dying of cancer and didn't attend her funeral.
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby kurt_w » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:46 pm

Between Lance Armstrong and this guy, it's not been a good week for sports heros.
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby Crockett » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:47 pm

^Band name
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby kurt_w » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:57 pm

More details (or claimed details) in an AP story:

The goal of the scam wasn't clear, though Notre Dame said it used an investigative firm to dig into the details after Te'o disclosed them three weeks ago. [...]

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said at a news conference that Te'o told coaches on Dec. 26 that he had received a call from Kekua's phone number while at an awards ceremony during the first week of December.

"When he answered it, it was a person whose voice sounded like the same person he had talked to, who told him that she was, in fact, not dead. Manti was very unnerved by that, as you might imagine," Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick said the school hired investigators and their report indicated those behind the hoax were in contact with each other, discussing what they were doing.

The investigators "were able to discover online chatter among the perpetrators that was certainly the ultimate proof of this, the joy they were taking," Swarbrick said. "The casualness among themselves they were talking about what they accomplished."
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby doppel » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:30 pm

O boy! O boy! A thread about absolutely meaningless celebrities. Anyone know what the Kardashian's are doing? Has Lindsey gotten help yet? Is Whitney still dead? More, more, please. Inquiring minds need to know.
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby Detritus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:45 pm

doppel wrote:O boy! O boy! A thread about absolutely meaningless celebrities. Anyone know what the Kardashian's are doing? Has Lindsey gotten help yet? Is Whitney still dead? More, more, please. Inquiring minds need to know.

The real crime that should be discussed here the rape of Lizzy Seeberg by a Notre Dame football player. She is a real woman, or was, until other players on the team hounded her to death.
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:05 am

doppel wrote:O boy! O boy! A thread about absolutely meaningless celebrities. Anyone know what the Kardashian's are doing? Has Lindsey gotten help yet? Is Whitney still dead? More, more, please. Inquiring minds need to know.


Uh, this part of the Forum is supposedly for talking about sports. Aside from being a rather interesting study in psychology and deception, this story also happens to be dominating headlines in the sports world today, along with the Lance Armstrong situation.

If that doesn't interest you, there's a very easy solution: don't read the thread. It's not like I lured you in with a misleading title or anything, right?
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:10 am

Detritus wrote:The real crime that should be discussed here the rape of Lizzy Seeberg by a Notre Dame football player. She is a real woman, or was, until other players on the team hounded her to death.


Yeah, actually I was going to bring that up in the Steubenville rape thread. But I thought it might be overkill. Even aside from the Steubenville case, there's already mentions in that thread of several other incidents of football players (or other athletes) committing rape.
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Re: Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend

Postby Huckleby » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:35 pm

The Notre Dame athletic director is urging Te'o to come forward with an explanation to the public.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/co ... 6848.story

Outrageous. Since when do university officials see it appropriate to pressure a student to explain their personal life to the press?

I hope Te'o never says another word about this incident. It is a fascinating story, but I see no need to put him on the witness stand. The public doesn't need to know the details of his mess-up.
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