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Manti Te’o And His Imaginary Dead Girlfriend


Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o had a rough national championship game versus Alabama and things just keep getting worse.

Te'o was the feel-good story of the college football season as he overcame loads of personal adversity during the season -- his grandmother and girlfriend both died -- to lead a scrappy Notre Dame team to an undefeated season before losing to Alabama.

Te'o was a Heisman Trophy candidate and interviewed numerous times about the losses he suffered. He spoke on many different occasions about the impact the death of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, from cancer had on him.

"I'd seen the most beautiful girl I ever met, not because of her physical beauty but the beauty of her character and who she is," Te'o said an ESPN interview.

"Even though she was fighting leukemia and fighting various things, she always found time to serve someone else."

Turns out that not only did Kekua not die from cancer; she never actually existed.

Details are still emerging but Te'o now claims that he was the victim of an elaborate hoax and that he only talked with Kekua by phone and online and never met her in person.

Months after her "death" Te'o got a call from her phone number and the person he'd known as Kekua told him that she really wasn't dead.

Te'o claims he told Notre Dame officials about the situation in late December. Notre Dame investigated and determined that Te'o didn't knowingly participate in the hoax.

So far they're supporting him and saying "Manti was the perfect mark, because he is a guy who is so willing to believe in others and so ready to help, that as this hoax played out in a way that called upon those tendencies of Manti, it roped him more and more into the trap."

Te'o released his own statement that essentially said he was embarassed and grateful for the support he's received and looking forward to the NFL draft.

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