Cancer victim’s family: No way Manti Te’o was involved with hoax
The thing that makes comprehending the Mant Te’o fake girlfriend story so confusing for many of us is that we want to believe him. It’s human nature to feel like a person could not be capable of making up that traumatic of a story as a publicity stunt. For Brian and Louise Smith, believing that Te’o would have been in on the Lennay Kekua hoax is even more difficult.
The Smiths’ 12-year-old daughter, Bridget, lost a battle with cancer late last year. According to TMZ, Te’o wrote the family a letter back in October when he learned that Bridget was suffering from cancer. In it, the Notre Dame linebacker explained how he had just lost his girlfriend to cancer and could understand what they were going through. After Bridget passed away, Te’o met with her family and they shared an “emotional moment” together.
“It’s very hard for me to believe he made this up,” Louise Smith told TMZ, explaining how genuine Te’o was in expressing his concern for the family in the wake of their tragic loss. “I don’t believe it for a second. There’s no way this guy knew anything about this hoax.”
Louise also insisted that Te’o was not concerned with publicity, explaining that she asked him if she could share his letter with the media and he told her that was up to the family.
“That’s up to you … it was for you and your family,” she recalled Manti saying. “You do with it what you wish.”
Again, these are the stories that make us want to believe that Te’o was duped. To think that someone could get so wrapped up in a scheme that he would lie to a family whose daughter is dying of cancer is unfathomable. If Te’o was in on the hoax, stories like the one the Smiths and this ex-Stanford player shared help illustrate the extent to which he let the lie get out of control.