The man who is allegedly behind the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax may have a history of making up fake tragedies. Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who Deadspin fingered as the man behind the mythical Lennay Kekua character, has reportedly had stories about car accidents aside from the one that Kekua was supposedly involved in.
A report from US Weekly on Thursday cited an insider from the NBC television show “The Voice” who claims Tuiasosopo once auditioned to become a contestant on the show, which is a singing competition. Ronaiah reportedly had a dramatic story.
“He had this insane sob story before [he sang],” the source said. “It would make for great TV.”
Tuiasosopo reportedly told the producers of the show that he and his cousins, who were in a Christian band together, got into a “massive” car accident on their way to play a show at a youth conference in Nevada. He said that a truck crashed into their vehicle and sent them flipping across the freeway, adding that doctors initially feared one of the band members could be brain dead. However, they all ended up being fine.
Depending on when the audition took place, Tuiasosopo might have been telling the truth.
The original Deadspin report that first exposed the hoax stated that Tuiasosopo was in a car crash in March, a month before his supposed character — Lennay Kekua — was involved in one. A posting on Instagram by a woman claiming to be Tuiasosopo’s cousin supports the car accident story, as does a Facebook posting by Ronaiah’s father, Titus.
“2012 was a year to remember. Said farewell to some loved ones, my middle child graduated from high school, witnessed the marital union of several family & friends, my son & his band survived a horrific accident, we enjoyed an incredible season of growth @ my church & The Clete House won our league championship,” Titus wrote on Facebook Dec. 31, 2012.
USA Today confirmed with California Highway Patrol that Tuiasosopo was involved in a two-car crash on March 23. Titus reportedly kept people updated about his son and two nephews’ recovery from the crash via his Facebook page. He reportedly said his nephews were briefly in intensive care.
According to the insider, Tuiasosopo had to pass a background check and psych evaluation as part of the show’s standard procedure.
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