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:
I guess I am the only one who thought this story was weird. I didn’t think this was as bad as child molestation. I didn’t even know it was a crime.
There are a few Notre Dame “subway alumni”—fans who have never attended the university—on FR. Last month, some of them were arrogantly swaggering around the board, but since January 7, they have become as scarce as martinis in Riyadh. Wonder why?
Didn’t obummer do the same thing in one of his so called books? He wrote about a fictitious girlfriend. How is this any different?
He has known for at least two months - since his attempt to create a web presence for his girlfriend's putative sister blew up in his face - that he would have to come up with some kind of plausible story. He has had two months to get his story straight.
There is no way we're getting the truth tomorrow. Also, his dad is apparently an overinvolved piece of work.
I’ll be here all week.
Oh the Hugh Manti Te!
Apparently the whole Notre Dame season was a hoax also. Pretty evident in the BCS title game.
Roll Tide. :-)
Too funny, Diana.
...must be a Punahou thing.
It’s different because, if you say something questioning Obama, you are racist. Of course, Te’o is Hawaiian, so that may be almost racist. But not enough to qualify.
I’ll take the one on the left.
Why didn’t Sports Illustrated or ESPN bother to run a Google check on any of his tragic girlfriend story....because they wanted to run with it?
Sports reporters are going way overboard with all the sob stories these days. They think they are writing for the soaps.
Here is a good article I just read on this subject.
Oh such a good time
Shoes all in a line
Everybody sing along
oh such a good time
White socks slipping down
Stilettos are a no no
Bouncy Bouncy oh
Bouncy Bouncy oh
Every time I bounce I feel I could touch the skyee
post of the day. i think i just ruined my keyboard
At least the inflatable version keeps you out of the clinic. The other one? Wouldn’t bet the...ahem...farm...on it. ;)