Manti Te’o lied about his girlfriend multiple times after finding out about hoax
Manti Te’o refused to sit down for an interview to share his side of the fake girlfriend story on Thursday, which has left us still scratching our heads and trying to fill in all the missing pieces. One thing that is preventing us from believing Te’o was not in on the hoax is the alleged timeline.
According to Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, Te’o found out he had been duped when he received a phone call from Lennay Kekua on Dec. 6 — months after her supposed death in October. However, there is evidence that he spoke about her existence multiple times after that day.
An Associated Press media review discovered two instances after Dec. 6 when Te’o spoke about Kekua. Here is the first, via CBSNews.com:
Te’o was in New York for the Heisman presentation on Dec. 8 and, during an interview before the ceremony that ran on the WSBT.com, the website for a South Bend TV station, Te’o said: “I mean, I don’t like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer. So I’ve really tried to go to children’s hospitals and see, you know, children.”
And the second:
In a story that ran in the Daily Press of Newport News, Va., on Dec. 11, Te’o recounted why he played a few days after he found out Kekau died in September, and the day she was supposedly buried.
“She made me promise, when it happened, that I would stay and play,” he said.
The folks at Awful Announcing say there was also a third time when Te’o mentioned Kekua after Dec. 6, and it supposedly came on the night of the Heisman Trophy presentation on Dec. 8 when he was speaking with ESPN’s Chris Fowler.
“I think I’ll never forget the time when I found out that, you know, my girlfriend passed away and the first person to run to my aid was my defensive coordinator, Coach [Bob] Diaco, and you know he said something very profound to me, he said ‘this is where your faith is tested.’” Teo told Fowler.
There is a theory circulating that Teo’ kept the lie going after he found out about it on Dec. 6 so that the team wouldn’t be distracted. That would make more sense if he wasn’t offering up comments about Kekua after he allegedly found out he had been duped. If someone asks a question about her and he gives a vague answer because he is not ready to talk about the hoax yet, that’s one thing. But that doesn’t explain why he was going around telling reporters that he doesn’t like cancer because he lost both his grandmother and girlfriend to the disease.