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Ronaiah Tuiasosopo reportedly provided the voice for Lennay Kekua

ronaiah tuiasosopoOne more mystery about the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax story may have been solved.

According to a report from the New York Daily News, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo not only created the Lennay Kekua identity, but he also provided the female voice used to dupe Te’o.

The Daily News reports that Tuiasosopo’s lawyer, Milton Grimes, told them that Tuiasosopo was the voice behind Kekua.

According to Grimes, Te’o “thought it was a female he was talking with,” but it was really Ronaiah posing as Kekua.

Grimes says Tuiasosopo has voice and drama training, and that the prankster’s actions were no different from what actors do on a regular basis.

“This wasn’t a prank to make fun,” Grimes told the Daily News. “It was establishing a communication with someone. … It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship.”

Tuiasosopo reportedly delayed making a public statement because of a California law that went into effect Jan. 1 that makes it illegal for someone to create a false online identity.

Tuiasosopo reportedly is seeing a mental health professional and has apologized to anyone he can.

I really hope he is brought up on some sort of fraud charges and sent to jail for his actions. He is an awful person.

You can read all our stories on the Manti Te’o hoax here.

ESPN reportedly was tipped about girlfriend hoax by Teo’s agent day before Deadspin

manti-teoFor those who care about how the Manti Te’o investigation developed, The New York Times and Sports Illustrated have stories for you.

Deadspin broke the story about Manti Te’o’s girlfriend being a hoax last Wednesday, over a week after Notre Dame was blasted by Alabama 42-14 in the BCS National Championship Game. Deadspin writers say they acted on a tip received on Friday, five days before they published their story.

One of the biggest questions has been why no other outlet caught onto this story earlier. ESPN has said they had knowledge of the alleged hoax before Deadspin published, which makes them look bad for letting the story of the year get away.

The New York Times says ESPN was tipped about the story by Te’o’s agent, Tom Condon. Sports Illustrated says the tip came on Jan. 10, a day before Deadspin received its tip. The network had an extra day to investigate, but they sat on the story because they were apparently trying to track down Te’o for an interview.

There reportedly was a conflict at ESPN between those who wanted to publish the story, and those who wanted to wait to see if they could secure an interview with Te’o.

Deadspin felt comfortable with their exhaustive reporting, and the result is the biggest story the site has ever uncovered. ESPN secured the first public comments from Te’o in response, and also got to benefit from Deadspin’s report by publishing several subsequent stories.

Did ESPN blow a big opportunity? Of course, but they still made out fine in the end and didn’t take a risk in publishing inaccurate information when it came to a complex story. As for Deadspin, well, they got to work on the story and everything has unfolded perfectly for them.

Ultimate irony: Lennay Kekua lectured others on faking deaths

ronaiah tuiasosopoIn an ultimate ironic twist, the person tweeting from the fabricated Lennay Kekua identity once lectured others on faking deaths.

Deadspin continues to publish exclusive information regarding the story they broke last week about Manti Te’o’s girlfriend being a hoax. On Monday, they shared numerous tweets sent from the Twitter accounts of Lennay Kekua and Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo (pictured) is believed to be the person behind the hoax. The Twitter accounts have been deleted, but Deadspin was able to recover nearly all of their tweets.

Below are the contents of the three most ironic tweets reportedly sent from the Kekua account. Deadspin adds the time, date, and account from which the tweet was sent. We bolded the contents:

3-Feb-12
1:42 PM
lovalovaloveYOU
I don’t think joking around with people’s deaths (celebrity or not) is funny. Lame people can’t live a REAL LIFE so they FAKE other’s DEATH.

8-Feb-12
10:46 PM
lovalovaloveYOU
I believe some people are in your life for the sole purpose of texting and keeping a solid convo. That is all.

14-Mar-12
2:07 AM
lovalovaloveYOU
#OOMF I saw today looked super different from their avi. I believe that validates the unfollow. Tisk tisk sweetie! You fluckin up.

To be clear, what you’re looking at is the Kekua tweeter saying they don’t think joking around with someone else’s death is funny, seven months before doing the exact same thing. They also said that someone having a misleading picture in their Twitter avatar was a reason to stop following even though they were using the picture of a completely different person. And yes, that’s commentary on someone engaging in the practice of “catfishing.”

Kekua (Tuiasosopo) was actually full of wisdom concerning proper social media etiquette. It’s a shame he/she didn’t follow any of it.

Manti Te’o’s mother tried to convert Lennay Kekua to Mormonism

manti-teoManti Te’o and his parents are scheduled to sit down for an on-air interview with ABC’s Katie Couric this week. The interview, which will be Te’o first appearance on the air since Deadspin broke the news of the hoax last week, will air on Thursday. Te’o’s family has decided to take part in the interview because they too were allegedly duped by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

According to USA Today, an anonymous source said that Manti’s mother, Ottilia Te’o, had made contact with Lennay Kekua on several occasions. The family reportedly engaged in bible study together via text message and Ottilia had spoken with Kekua about converting to Mormonism.

Assuming you believe Te’o was completely duped, the fact that his parents are planning to appear on the air with him proves just how deep the hoax went. Kekua — or Tuiasosopo if you believe this report — went to great lengths to gain the trust of the Te’o family. The Te’os are a very religious family, and it’s obvious that the creator of the hoax was well aware of that and used it to his advantage.

Lennay Kekua reportedly claimed she was dating Mark Sanchez

Ronaiah TuiasosopoThe more we learn about the Manti Te’o hoax, the more we come to realize that the Notre Dame linebacker was not the first person that became a pawn in the games Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has allegedly strung together. Tessi Tolutau, a Hawaiian beauty queen who was crowned Miss South Pacific in 2007, said she was also contacted by a girl named Lennay Kekua several years ago.

Tolutau told the NY Post that Kekua messaged her on Facebook seeking advice on competing in a beauty pageant. She also reportedly told Tolutau that she had an impressive track record, including once dating Mark Sanchez.

“We would chat back and forth,” Tolutau said. “She explained to me that she played basketball at Stanford, that she was a Victoria’s Secret model, that she was dating somebody from Stanford. She even said she was dating [Jets quarterback] Mark Sanchez.”

Tolutau said she was shocked last week when news surfaced that Te’o’s girlfriend never actually existed.

“I didn’t even know that Manti’s dead girlfriend was Lennay Kekua until I saw the news this week,” she said.

In this case, Ronaiah may have posed as Kekua to give himself an opportunity to meet Tolutau, who explained that Kekua convinced her that she should meet Tuiasosopo. However, Tolutau said never considered that Kekua and Tuiasosopo could be one in the same.

“I never thought that before,” she explained. “That never crossed my mind. When Ronaiah’s name came out, I started to put the pieces together.”

With all the lies we have been led to believe that Tuiasosopo has told (like this classic story about NBC’s “The Voice”), it sounds like he is an extremely sick person who is in need of some serious help.

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has hired attorney, may talk

ronaiah tuiasosopoThe man believed to be responsible for creating Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend may finally address the entire controversy.

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has been hiding out at his parents’ home in Palmdale, Calif., since news broke on Wednesday that he allegedly created Lennay Kekua and duped the Notre Dame linebacker into having a relationship with a woman who didn’t exist.

Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, Ronaiah’s uncle, reportedly told The Associated Press that the family has hired an attorney and that his nephew may address the hoax. He says the family plans to hold a meeting to discuss how and when they would address matters.

“We want to do it right,” Peter Navy Tuiasosopo told the AP. “We’re just a family of faith. The family is holding up well. They’re holding up the way I would expect a family to. This is a storm.”

The AP says the family had a service at the Oasis Christian Church on Sunday, though Ronaiah was not in attendance.

See all our stories on the Manti Te’o hoax

Dallas Stars poke fun at Manti Te’o fake girlfriend (Picture)

dallas stars manti te'o

Even the Dallas Stars are getting in on the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend fun. During the third period of the team’s season-opening game on Saturday, cameras in the arena flashed to an empty chair in section 125 and showed it on the jumbotron. The caption was: “Manti Te’o’s girlfriend welcome to the game!”

When the Te’oing trend was established, the invisible girlfriend jokes were pretty funny. Maybe the Stars got some laughs out of this, but it won’t be long before this humor gets old. Unfortunately for Te’o, I don’t think he’ll hear the end of them for years.

Photo via Twitter/Ed Cahill