On Jan. 17, 2013, the father of the man called the “mastermind” behind the Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax posted a statement on his Facebook page asking the public to be kind to the football player.
The story involves Te’o, an alleged online girlfriend, and her supposed death from leukemia in Sept. 2012. Kekua apparently never existed and the circumstances surrounding the situation remain unclear.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Titus Tuiasosopo, whose son is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo—who Deadspin, citing a source, reported orchestrated the hoax—posted a message calling Te’o an “amazing role model” who should be allowed to “pursue his dream without judgment.”
He also wrote, “I know so much has been splattered all over the media about my son & my family… It [is] my hope & prayer that we allow the truth to take its course, wherever it may lead…”
The report indicates Titus Tuiasosopo is a pastor at a Southern California church.
On Jan. 16, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said he is confident the school's linebacker, Manti Te’o, was the victim of an “elaborate, sophisticated hoax” surrounding imaginary girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.
Some have questioned whether Te’o may have been involved in the hoax to gain publicity.
A Twitter user claiming to be Kekua, promised to post a statement Thursday regarding the matter. The user did so around 3 p.m. ET, writing, “My statement: This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but I have been told by Alabama's offense that Manti Te'o is not real.”