NOTRE DAME — The inspirational, tragic story of Manti Te’o’s girlfriend who died of leukemia in September has turned out to be a hoax.
The story first broke Wednesday evening on Deadspin.com, detailing the holes and inconsistencies in the tale of Lennay Kekua, Te’o’s girlfriend. Deadspin wrote: “Outside of a few Twitter and Instagram accounts, there’s no online evidence that Lennay Kekua ever existed.”
Notre Dame responded with an official statement a half hour later, claiming that Te’o and his families were victims of a hoax. The statement reads as follows: “On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te’o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.”