notre dame

Manti Te’o Dead Girlfriend A Hoax? ND Star Releases Statement About Lennay Kekua

Was the story about Manti Te’o losing his girlfriend a hoax?

A new in-depth report by claims that Te’o was never dating Lennay Kekua. In fact, Deadspin claims that Lennay Kekua never even existed.

In September, news broke that the Heisman Trophy nominee lost both his grandmother and his girlfriend within a span of 24 hours. After receiving the news, Te’o went on to lead Notre Dame to a 20-3 victory over Michigan State.

The sad and inspirational story spread like wildfire was picked up by major media outlets like ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the New York Times. But according to Deadspin, none of it was real.

Deadspin writes:

“Manti Te’o did lose his grandmother this past fall. Annette Santiago died on Sept. 11, 2012, at the age of 72, according to Social Security Administration records in Nexis. But there is no SSA record there of the death of Lennay Marie Kekua, that day or any other. Her passing, recounted so many times in the national media, produces no obituary or funeral announcement in Nexis, and no mention in the Stanford student newspaper.”

So where did Lennay Kekua come from?

According to The Star, the photos of Kekau, which were posted all over the internet, are actually of a 22-year-old California woman. A woman who has never been in a car accident, doesn’t have leukemia and has never met Manti Te’o.

manti te'o girlfriend