Skip to comments.Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend is the biggest story on Twitter
Posted on 01/16/2013 7:28:53 PM PST by doug from upland
Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend is the biggest story on Twitter News January 17, 2013
Fernando Alfonso III more articles | email |
Deadspin published a blockbuster investigation Wednesday night, exposing the relationship between star Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and his girlfriendwho reportedly passed away last yearas a grand hoax. The story has quickly taken over Twitter, which is now inundated with praise for the sports site, jokes at Te'os expense, and questions as to the star players level of involvement.
The investigative piece by Deadspin's Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey reveals how Te'o's relationship with girlfriend Lennay Kekua was an elaborate fraud that duped millions of Americans, respected news organizations, and maybe even Te'o himself.
Te'o's relationship with Kekua was almost out of a fairy tale, with the two meeting after a Stanford game in November 2009. Their relationship played out in front of the world on Twitter, where Te'o, who has 165,000 followers, tweeted back and forth with one of Kekua's accounts.
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Te'o's relationship ultimately became one of the most reported stories of 2012 after Kekua died from leukemia within days of Te'o's grandmother passing away. Te'o did not attend Kekua's funeral because of a big football game that same day versus Michigan (Notre Dame won 13-6).
The tragic news helped build Te'o's image and land him on magazine covers and sports shows like ESPN's Pardon the Interruption where he reflected on the loss of Kekua.
Deadspin's article unravels a web of suspicious Twitter accounts and misused photographs that allegedly show how Kekua was not even a real person, let alone Te'o's girlfriend. The article also alleges that Te'o was in on the scam.
The news of the hoax has helped Te'o, a Heisman Trophy finalist, become the top search term on Twitter, according to analytics service Topsy. In the past three hours, Te'o (as well as his first name and a common misspelling of his last name, Teo) has been mentioned more than 290,000 times.
Notre Dame has also been a Twitter trending topic around the U.S., with more than 51,000 mentions since Deadspin published at 4:10 pm ET. The university has issued a public statement saying Te'o was the victim of "a sad and very cruel deception."
Te'o has also released a statement claiming he was in what he thought was an "authentic relationship" with a woman.
"To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating," the statement read according to Deadspin. "It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother's death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life."
But not everyone on Twitter is taking Teo at his word. The phrase "So Te'o" has become a major trending topic, with people raising questions as to how involved the linebacker was in the hoax.
"So te'o talked on the phone with his fake gf everyday for 4 months straight and never once skyped or seen her?" @jonblum7 tweeted. "Says he was tricked #how?"
"So Te'o was duped in to believing his gf died?" @andrewjbone tweeted. "I guess he just decided not to go to the funeral. These statements just as real as the gf."
"So Te'o was able 2 stay "in character" through all of these TV interviews w his emotional displays etc? WT?" @billisking tweeted."Did any teammate show suspicion?"
The news of the hoax has also been ripe for Twitter comedians pouncing on the feel good story of 2012 turned ugly.
"Did he at least get to pretend second base with the imaginary person before she fake died?" @OldHossRadbourn tweeted.
"Big hit at Sundance next week- Te'o and the Real Girl" @rj_white tweeted.
"Man, I hope AJ McCarron's girlfriend is real," @herdcotton tweeted.
Te'o has not tweeted much about his relationship over the past two months. However, he has spread some word of wisdom that he probably should have followed himself.
UPDATE: Twitter analytics firm Topsy has provided the Daily Dot with some hard data about how insanely popular the Te'o scandal was on Twitter.
Mentions of Manti Te'o, Notre Dame and Deadspin peaked at over 3,000:
This is totally brilliant. After this revelation, when Te’o admits he was on steroids his entire career, nobody will care and it won’t be reported...
All this to take attention away from Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah.
“They learned nothing from Penn State.”
And what, exactly, are the similarities between this story and the Sandusky story?
Tweet: The last dude from Hawaii who lied this much ended up in the White House.
You may be on to something.
Here’s my question. If he supposedly never met her, and knew her only online.... then how would he have known she really died? She obviously didn’t tell him. So how did he know?
Of course its a fraud.
She called him after she died;
Don’t know about the whole season, but Teo himself is definitely a hoax. Media creation (just like the “honey-badger” last year) that they need to create interest and get people to pay attention to their propaganda.
If you watched any ND games, Teo is basically a smallish linebacker who happens to be a non-black minority, hence the media frenzy. I never saw him make a single stand out play, despite all the hysterical hype. I’m sure he did make some plays but nothing really extraordinary and deserving of all the hype.
Agree. He was exposed against Alabama. Too small, slow and not strong enough. Someone said he was the next Ray Lewis......pfft. I don’t think he’s even the next Junior Seau or Palumalu.
Having to play Bama on the field, without the aid of the ND marketing machine.
This whole gf deal was part of his publicity runup to the Heisman balloting. He was a full, knowing participant. ND spent millions promoting this moderately better than average football player as some kind of superhero and he was happy to play along.
If Te’o is the perp; which it at least; appears that he is; then he is not the ‘perpetrator’ of a hoax. He would be;in truth; a unmitigated perpetrator of a lie. No ‘hoaxter’ here; just a liar. If. . .
Think more along the lines of Brian Bosworth.
Every ND game I watched this season had the obligatory ode to what a courageous player Manti was, fighting on the field through his heartbreak, etc. They’d spend a minute or two speaking about his tribulations in hushed tones until I wanted to scream. And yet no one ever thought to check out the veracity of this story? I can guaran-damn-tee you that if it had been Tebow telling this tale, they’d have found out everything they could about this woman in a weekend!
The book itself gave even more 'incredibility' inasmuch as Obama was praised for his writing talents and the stellar intelligence behind it; when of course; this was the 'voice and hand' of Bill Ayers. Te'o has yet to match the Lie of Obama.
That said; this is not about the authentically, inauthentic Obama. . .It is about a very big lie; or disturbed imagination of Te'o. James Frey was called to task by Oprah; for his 'blending' of facts. Obama; apparently and OTOH; never got the 'Oprah call'. Lance got his this week; so maybe Te'o will be next.
I had no idea of the extent of the Heisman lobbying industry until I had to go through NYC en-route to catch a plane at JFK. As I came out of Penn Station I saw a billboard stretching the width of the building across the street and at least 10 to 12 stories high of a football player.
"Huh? How many Oregon fans can there be in NYC?" I thought.
If only those journalists would turn their abilities on the biggest seamster of all time...
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