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 don’t think he fabricated the woman. He made up some details and combined aspects of other relationships. But the actual woman does exist. A bit different here.
What’s a Manti Te’o?
Seems like this guy pulled a Jan Brady..can anyone confirm that “George Glass” is a real person
I don’t understand how he could have been in love with a woman he never met face to face? I understand getting attached to pen pals but that’s not the same as a romantic relationship with the opposite sex. It sounds like total BS to me.
Probably a lot more than before the internet.
As far as I know Johnny Manziel isn't really Scooby Doo. Anything else fake in that photo?
RIP Lennay Kekua. I bet she is in Heaven playing golf with Nicole Brown’s real killer and John Titor.
The chatboard on ESPN is going insane. Funny as hell.
Is her last name “Tuttle” by any chance?
/obscure M*A*S*H reference
I find the whole story just ridiculous and my girlfriend Kate Upton agrees.
...so are the fark/photoshop boards
I was blue and lonely,
I couldn’t sleep a wink
And I could only get unconscious
If I’d had to much to drink
There was somehow, something wrong somewhere,
And each day seemed grey and dead
The seeds of desperation
Were growing in me head
I needed inspiration,
A brand new start in life,
Somewhere to place affection,
But I didn’t want a wife
And then by lucky chance I saw
In a special magazine
An ad that was unusual,
The like I’d never seen,
“Experience something different
With our new imported toy,
She’s loving, warm, inflatable
And a guarantee of joy”
She came all wrapped in cardboard,
All pink and shriveled down
A breath of air was all she needed
To make her lose that frown
I took her to the bedroom
And pumped her with some life,
And later in a moment
That girl became my wife
And so I sit her in the corner
And sometimes stroke her hair
And when I’m feeling naughty
I blow her up with air
She’s cuddly and she’s bouncy,
She’s like a rubber ball,
I bounce her in the kitchen
And I bounce her in the hall
And now my life is different
Since Sally came my way
I wake up in the morning
And have her on a tray
She’s everything they say she was
And I wear a permanent grin,
And I only have to worry
In case my girl wears thin
So does my wife, Morgan Fairchild.
Yes, it has to be said. Laz would hit it.
A John Titor reference. Great.