After a Deadspin Manti Teo story that makes the Notre Dame linebacker look either complicit in a hoax or utterly fooled by online deception, the projected first round draft pick has released a statement about the situation.
Earlier today, Deadspin broke a story that shattered the perception many have of Te’o. A dominating linebacker in college football this past season, Manti’s story was just as dominant in the media. Suggesting he overcame the death of his girlfriend earlier this year, Deadspin’s Te’o story suggests that wasn’t the case because Manti’s girlfriend never existed.
Now, Manti Te’o is doing his best to get ahead of the story. Here’s released a statement saying the following:
“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,” says Te’o.
Te’o later continues, writing:
“I grew deeply to care about her … To realize I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.”
As of now, Te’o continues to suggest he was the victim of the hoax, not someone who purposefully tried to benefit off of it. An investigation into this bizarre story is on-going.