In 2013, Manti Te’o became well-known, although regrettably not necessarily for his prowess on the football field. The two-part Netflix series Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist features the Notre Dame linebacker, who was the victim of one of the most well-known catfish scams ever.
Te’o’s tragic story has many aspects, including the awful ways it continues to haunt him now. Here is information regarding the infamous Manti Te’o catfish, as well as information about Manti Te’o’s false girlfriend and Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. This information is provided whether you are unfamiliar with the catfish crisis or simply want a refresher (who now goes by Naya Tuiasosopo).
The rumours said that Manti Te’o of Notre Dame played this season while carrying a heavy load. Te’o, a Mormon linebacker who brought back the football team at his Catholic school, was torn apart by personal traumas along the way. According to Sports Illustrated, Te’o learnt of the passing of both his girlfriend Lennay Kekua and his grandma Annette Santiago over the course of six hours in September.
Kekua, a 22-year-old Californian who had been involved in a major auto accident, was later given a leukaemia diagnosis. According to Pete Thamel of SI, Te’o would call her in her hospital room and stay on the phone with her as he slept. At her weakest, as she struggled to come out of a coma, her respiration rate would speed up at the sound of his voice, according to her family, Thamel wrote.
Te’o led the Fighting Irish to an upset victory over Michigan State of 20-3 while accumulating 12 tackles after learning of the two fatalities. It was both tragic and motivational. Te’o would come on College GameDay on ESPN to discuss the letters Kekua had written to him when she was ill. He would write the parents of a sick kid a touching letter, sharing his experience with illness and loss. She was a Stanford student and he was a standout player for Notre Dame when they met in a story published in The South Bend Tribune following a football game south of Palo Alto.
Did you like the inspiring narrative of a man who overcame adversity to become one of the game’s best players? If so, put down the book.
This past fall, Manti Te’o actually lost his grandmother. On September 11, 2012, Annette Santiago passed away at the age of 72, according to Social Security Administration data in Nexis. However, there is no SSA record there of Lennay Marie Kekua’s passing on that day or any other. Despite the numerous mentions of her passing in the national media, neither Nexis nor the Stanford student newspaper publish an obituary or burial announcement for her.
Furthermore, there are no reports of a Lennay Kekua being involved in a serious car accident. Background investigations reveal nothing. There is no record of a Lennay Kekua ever enrolling, according to the Stanford registrar’s office. Her birth has not been mentioned in the news. There are only a few Twitter and Instagram accounts that serve as the only internet proof of Lennay Kekua’s existence.
The images used to represent Kekua in memorial tributes online and in news stories on television are screenshots from the social media pages of a 22-year-old California woman who goes by the name Lennay Kekua. She did not graduate from Stanford, was not involved in a serious auto accident, and does not have leukaemia. Manti Te’o has also never met her.
What is known about Manti Te’o is as follows: He plays football exceptionally well. He is expected to be selected in the first round of the NFL draught. He received numerous awards, including the Walter Camp, the Chuck Bednarik, the Butkus, and the Bronko Nagurski. He placed second in the Heisman voting. He made at least 100 tackles in each of his three seasons as a regular starter.
Te’o is also a devoted Mormon, as is also known. He responded that he had prayed about it when asked why he chose Notre Dame over Southern California, the school he had backed when a child in Hawaii. “Faith is believing in something you most likely can’t see but that you think is true, he explained to ESPN. You know it’s true in your heart and soul, but you still take that risk.”
Furthermore, we are aware of Te’o’s love for his family. According to Te’o’s father, Manti had admired his late grandfather, who passed away in January 2012, from the moment he was born. He oversaw his sister’s luau after graduation. He also adored Annette Santiago, his late maternal grandma. (See her obituary here.)
But the definiteness ends there. From this point on, Te’o’s public story progresses into fantasy, following in the footsteps of so many Notre Dame myths and with the support of a willing press.
It is challenging to put together a timeline of the Kekua-Te’o relationship. Te’o’s notoriety increased along with the number of motivational tales about his ability to overcome setbacks. The stories that followed seemed to add yet another twist to the plot, and the facts clashed. According to a variety of media reports, the following is the general picture of the situation:
According to the South Bend Tribune, Te’o and Kekua met after Stanford defeated Notre Dame 45-38 in Palo Alto on November 28, 2009: “Manti Te’o extended his hand to the stranger as their eyes grew amicably tangled and he smiled warmly.” A Stanford student named Kekua and Te’o exchange phone numbers.
Te’o and Kekua are pals in 2010 and 2011. She possessed musical talent, spoke several languages, had realistic aspirations and the ability to pursue them (South Bend Tribune). In October 2012, Te’o’s father, Brian, stated to the Tribune that “they initially just began out as friends.” She occasionally visited Hawaii, which coincided with Manti’s time at home. As a result, he would meet her there.
Who was Manti Te’o’s girlfriend?
Te’o, a linebacker for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, notoriously thought he was dating Lennay Kekua even though he had never really met her. Te’o and Kekua, who claimed to be Stanford students and reside in Palo Alto, California, met following a football game in 2009, according to The South Bend Tribune (via Deadspin). Over the following few years, Te’o and Kekua are said to have become friends. Te’o’s father noted that Kekua occasionally paid Te’o a visit when she visited Hawaii.
The narrative then becomes much murkier.
Kekua was involved in a car accident sometime in 2012 that left her “near death,” but several media sources give conflicting timings. Some claim it occurred as soon as her and Te’o’s relationship transitioned from platonic to love, while others claim it happened in April or January.
Kekua was reportedly given a leukaemia diagnosis by her doctors in June 2012, while she was still recuperating from the injuries she sustained in the automobile accident. On September 10, 2012, she was discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment, and Te’o’s father allegedly congratulated her over the phone.
Then, Kekua passed away in 2012, on either September 11 or September 12 depending on which source you consult. Te’o’s grandmother Annette Santiago passed away on the same day.
Except … None of that was true, because Kekua did not exist.
Confused? The world was also. Poor Manti Te’o was also. Read on.
Who was Manti Te’o’s catfish?
Lennay Kekua was a persona adopted by Naya Tuiasosopo, not a real person (who then went by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo). Te’o was severely catfished by Tuiasosopo. With a January 2013 interview with Dr. Phil, Tuiasosopo claimed Te’o had “no role” in the catfish and was unaware that Kekua wasn’t real.
At the time, Tuiasosopo, who had not yet transitioned, said, “I very much had this getaway of Lennay and this was where my heart had pretty much spent, not only time, but all of my energy poured into this.” Tuiasosopo claimed that she felt that Kekua had practically merged with her and that Te’o was the love of her life, and that the catfish that went viral wasn’t a cruel joke or a ruse to obtain any kind of reward.
She said, “As twisted and perplexing as it may be, absolutely, I cared for this person. Even though I had nothing to gain from it, I did everything I could to make this individual a better person. She continued by saying that Te’o appeared to have improved after losing his imaginary lover “”If you truly look at all his interviews, he felt that,” the author noted. He became aware of all that Lennay had accomplished for him after he accepted that he had lost her.”
When she and Te’o got into a fight, Te’o told Kekua that he didn’t need her, according to Tuiasosopo, who then went on to say that she “killed” Kekua. “I felt pain. It struck me like a tonne of bricks. Whoa, I’ve put so much into this, I thought “She spoke. And I immediately saw that by investing so much in Lennay, I was receiving little in return, and look at what I had left.
What happened to Ronaiah Tuiasosopo?
Tuiasosopo has transitioned and started living as a woman since the incident broke. According to Chapman Way and Maclain Way, the executive producers of Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, they discovered Tuiasosopo on Instagram and she shares her own personal narrative in the film.
“We eventually located Naya. Then we contacted her and gave her a brief introduction to our programme Untold. When we spoke with Naya on the phone, she was really honest, upfront, and exposed about the entire trip. She has been reviewing it for the past few years [while Untold was being made]]. and after speaking with her, we came to the conclusion that there is probably much more to this story than meets the eye.”
According to Maclain, Tuiasosopo and Te’o have no animosity toward one another.
“There isn’t any ill will between these individuals. But between the two of them, they are each aware of the journey that the other had to take “explained he. And despite the fact that it clearly affected both of their lives and that they are now willing to talk about it, I believe that they simply accept the fact that it did happen.
In a blog post of her own, Nicole stated: “My best friend and the love of my life were wed in a private beach ceremony yesterday. Although we had not planned our ceremony this way, it was ideal. When the temples and venues reopen, we will have our reception and celebration, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this momentous occasion with our families.
In which NFL team is Manti Te’o a player?
Te’o is a free agent for the NFL right now. Prior to that, he spent four years playing for the San Diego Chargers and the following two years for the New Orleans Saints. Prior to being added to the team’s active roster in January 2021, he was then a member of the Chicago Bears practise squad.
Manti Te’o is still a Bear?
Te’o is a free agent in the NFL right now. In 2020, he was added to the Chicago Bears’ practise squad. He was added to the team’s active roster in January 2021.
How much does Manti Te’o make?
Te’o is thought to be worth $3.5 million. His most recent estimated yearly salary was $132,000 dollars.
Did Manti Te’o get drafted?
The San Diego Chargers selected Te’o in the draught. In the second round of the 2013 NFL draught, he was selected sixth overall. Insiders believed Te’o’s performance as a whole, not the catfish issue, was to blame for his not being selected in the first round, despite popular belief to the contrary.
Who did Manti Te’o lose the Heisman to?
Te’o finished second to Johnny Manziel in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting. At the time, Te’o stated, “I’m at a loss for words. Hey, I’ve got to become better. I just felt the burn. It provides drive.”
Added he, “I’ve always aspired to excel. That just serves as fuel for me to do my best. I have a tonne of work to do, of course. Simply said, I can’t wait to return and get things going. Return home, visit with all of my brothers, and get back into the swing of things. Put your pads back on, hit some men, and watch a lot of film. I love that I have weeks and weeks to study cinema at this period of time. I usually have approximately three days to study movies, but now I have three weeks.”
What team did Manti Te’o play for?
Te’o was a college athlete for Notre Dame. He has experience playing professionally for the NFL’s Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, and San Diego Chargers. He is a free agent in the league right now.