TORRANCE, Calif. (KTLA) — A bizarre story out of college football is blowing up across the Internet today.
Did a star Notre Dame linebacker make up a story about a girlfriend who supposedly died of cancer, or is he the victim of a cruel hoax?
Manti Te’o was consoled by his teammates last September after a dominating performance.
It was the same night, he reportedly missed his girlfriend’s funeral in Carson, to lead the Fighting Irish past Michigan State.
“They were with me. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and my girlfriend’s family,” Te’o said at the time.
But according to a Deadspin report, the tragedy suffered by Te’o that night was a bunch of blarney.
According to Deadspin, the girlfriend — Lennay Kekua — was made up.
The report says she was never sick, she didn’t attend Stanford, and there is no record of her death.
The picture used online was that of a 22-year-old from Torrance, who has never met Te’o or had any knowledge of a relationship with him.
Outside of a few Twitter and Instagram accounts, there is no evidence a woman by the name Lennay Kekua ever existed, according to Deadspin.
At this point, it’s unclear whether the Heisman trophy candidate was behind the hoax.
Teo issued a statement today, saying he was the victim of someone’s “sick joke.”
But this is the same man who described his relationship publically in detail, and even describes his reaction to her death.