Jets News

Manti Te’o’s Deceased Girlfriend a Hoax

By Alan Schechter

Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te

A truly crazy story to take your minds off the Jets’ general manager search for a few minutes.

For those of you that don’t know the story of Manti Te’o, he learned in September, that within the span of 6 hours, his grandmother passed away, followed by his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua. He led his team to victory upon receiving the news of her death, and he was the inspiring story of the season. He was on TV talking about her illness, the letters that were exchanged..etc. Articles were written about their fairytale meeting, as well

Well, according to Deadspin, “Houston, we have a problem.”

According to their report (linked above), the incident of her death is a hoax. His grandmother did in fact die on Sept 11, 2012. However, there is no record of Miss Kekua passing away on that day, or any other day. Pictures in reports that were identified as Kekua are in fact pictures of a 22 year old from California not named Lennay Kekua, that was never in a car accident, never sick, and has never met Te’o.

So, one of the most inspirational stories all season turns out to be totally false, if this report is right. If it is, his character will certainly be questioned at the very least, come draft time.


Just a few moments ago, Notre Dame released a statement, saying that Te’o and his family were tricked by the girl’s family.  They said that basically she ingratiated herself with Manti and his family, and led him to believe that the story was true, and the school is going to help the family any way they can to investigate this situation.

There will definitely be more on this story to come.