The brains of Manti Te'o observers just exploded into a bloody mist. The latest development in the story, as posted by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Friday, is that Te’o's faux girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, called Te’o on Dec. 6 and told him she faked her death to evade drug dealers. Remember that he originally said that she died just hours after his grandmother died.
The date of Dec. 6 jives with some accounts which say that Te'o discovered on Dec. 6 that his girlfriend never existed. He didn't tell Notre Dame officials, as has also been reported, until much later, on Dec. 26, though.
As we know, unless were are still being duped (and who knows, at this point), Te’o and Kekua had been "dating" since 2011 when Kekua supposedly passed away in September after a battle with leukemia. Te’o, having already suffered through the death of his grandmother just hours previously, still managed to have his best game of the season just days later against Michigan State.
The story became nearly legendary, with media outlets relating the story of Kekua and his love for her. However, until Deadspin revealed the non-existence of Kekua earlier this week, he never said anything, and he even had interviews where he mentioned her after Dec. 6, when he learned she did not exist.
After the beans will spilled, Kekua did acknowledge that their relationship was online and on the phone and that he had never actually met Kekua in person, despite reports to the contrary.
According to the report, the faux Kekua attemped to restart the relationship with Te'o but he was suspicious. He asked the woman to send him a date-stamped photo so that he could verify that it was really her, but even though she did so, he was still unconvinced. He finally -- according to the report -- went to his family and coaches and told them he had been the victim of a long-running hoax.
Again, this jives with earlier reports. When Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick held his press conference on Wednesday, he stated that Te’o received a call on Dec. 6 from a woman he thought to be his deceased girlfriend, and Swarbrick also said that after the initial call, there were attempts to restart the relationship. So this new report is consistent with all that.
There is still too many questions left unanswered though, and this latest report just confuses things further. What would really clear things up -- or confuse things even more -- would be for Te'o to hold his own press conference.
Although Notre Dame officials initially said he was going to hold one Thursday, that did not come to pass. The world watches, and waits.
Lance Armstrong must be truly happy something is distracting the sports world away from his story. Oprah Winfrey, however, must find it annoying to have only the second biggest sports story over the last two days.