The Curious Case Of Manti Te’o–The Lies, Truth And Everything In Between

Time To Move On From The Te’o Saga

Jeremiah Short, The Current Voice


When exposed Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, as a hoax, I don’t think anyone realized the media firestorm that would follow. And that’s an understatement.

With the plot twists in this story, I’ve wondered if “Victor Newman” was behind it, and if the truth would get revealed during February “sweeps.”

You may laugh at that analogy. But, the storyline does read like a story arc on The Young and the Restless.

January 16th: breaks story that reveals that Te’o’s dead girlfriend was a hoax. In response to report, Te’o issues a statement denying his involvement.

Notre Dame’s administration holds a press conference to answer questions about the report and vouch for Te’o’s character.

January 18th: Ronaiah Tuiasosopo(The Fall Guy) admits that he is the perpetrator of the hoax.

Te’o grants an off-camera interview with ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap and reiterates that he wasn’t complicit in the scheme. He provides Schaap with a spreadsheet (Not actual phone records.) of the calls between himself and what he thought was Lennay Kekua.

January 23rd: Katie Couric’s on-camera interview with Te’o and his parents is aired. Couric places four voice mails given to her by Te’o on her website. The voice mails prove that Te’o did engage in a relationship with a woman or someone he thought was a woman.

January 24th: Tuiasosopo admits that he was the voice of Lennay Kekua.

January 25th: A family member of Tuiasosopo refutes his claim and says without certainty the person talking on the voice mails is Ronaiah’s cousin, Tino Tuiasosopo. Four voice experts review the voice mails and state that person speaking was a woman, not a man.

January 30th: After the story had fizzled for a couple of days, it picks back up when excerpts of Dr.Phil’s interview with Tuiasosopo reveals that the confessed hoaxer was in love with Te’o. The aspiring musician, who once tried out for The Voice, states again that he was the voice of Kukua and Te’o had no part in the hoax.


After the events of the past two weeks, one thought remains: is Te’o an incompetent fool or a cunning, shrewd liar?

I think most have allowed themselves to get suckered into believing the former. Don’t count me as one them.

Te’o and his handlers have concocted a new version of events that paint him as naive kid that got deceived, although the evidence suggest otherwise. And they’ve told several lies to support it.

But I’m here expose their statements for what they are–LIES.

Lie: “This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her.”

“To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.

Te’o statement after the story broke.

Truth: I can’t believe them chumps at Deadspin bust me out. Now I got to come on Twitter and tell these people a bunch of bull to cover my tail. I thought I got away with this crap. Damn that good reporting. Why couldn’t they get fooled like every other writer in America that didn’t vet the story in the first place. I see your jokes on Twitter and Facebook, and I think their funny. I couldn’t have come up with anything better myself. Who am I kidding? I know I could have. 

Relax people. YOLO(You Only Live Once.). Well, unless you’re Lennay.

Lie: “Nothing about what I’ve learned has shaken my faith in Manti Te’o one iota.”

Jack Swarbrick’s comments during Notre Dame’s press conference.

Truth: Look, I know this idiot is lying. You expect us to come out and just say that. With us giving Te’o our support, you will start to think this boy is stupid enough to fall for that catfish mess. Quick question: How many recruits you think are watching this press conference? They know now that this college supports our players, even when we know they are full of it. Go Irish.

Lie: “He’s not a liar. He’s a kid. He’s a 21-year-old kid trying to be a man.”

Brian Te’o, Manti’s father, responding to Couric’s question about his son’s character.

Truth: I know this immature little jack wad is lying. And we got to get on TV and tell you different. We got to convince you that he is great young man. I know most won’t understand, but we’re trying to make sure our son get that first-round money. You know NFL teams don’t want some butthole leading their team. Oh Katie, thanks for telling everyone that you saw the phone records, although you’ve shown no proof that you did. You got our back; so we won’t mention that you and our son got the same public relations guy. 

Lie: “There were many times where Manti and Lennay had broken up, but something would bring them back together, whether it was something going on in his life or in Lennay’s life, in this case in my life.”

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo during his interview with Dr.Phil.

Truth: First, thanks for interviewing me Dr.Phil. This should help me get a reality show and record deal. And you know the book is coming.

To your question, I never was in a relationship with my boy Te’o. We came up with that to make everyone think I was some troubled soul trying to connect with someone. And people bought it. I’m surprised to. People are usually more skeptical than this. If they wanted to know what the truth was, all they have to do is look at our Twitters from the past year. Te’o was calling Lennay his chick over a year ago, not in May.

By the way, what’s your rating’s projection for this episode?


I know Te’o is a bold-faced liar and immature brat, but this drama won’t shame him into seclusion. Matter of fact, He is one of the top prospects in the 2013 NFL draft. Mel Kiper, ESPN’s NFL draft expert, has him rated as the number 12 player on his Big Board.

According to NFL Networks’ draft expert Gil Brandt, though, the scandal could very well scare off some teams. Brandt said, “I think some teams will say it isn’t worth the problem” to draft Te’o.

While some teams won’t take him, Te’o will get drafted by someone–likely in the first round. What does he do then? Play football. And play it at a high level.

Te’o will get hazed, heckled and scrutinized, but he must put his head down and let his play talk for him.

Not only would allow him to move on. But everyone else, as well.

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