In the much ballyhooed
Katie Couric interview” this week, Manti T’eo was confronted about his sexual orientation and literally began to laugh out loud: “Katy you’d be surprised to know how far far far from gay I really am!” Even though it seems as if this story grows more preposterous by the newscast, I hope this blog will give you enough background to nudge you into commenting, because– quite frankly–this story baffles the HELL out of me.I’m really having a time wrapping my head around it. It’s more complicated than the S.C. DUI Laws I’ve been studying for 25 years!
Right out of the gate, let’s clarify the players:
Manti T’eo- alleged victim of a hoax, Hawaiian linebacker for Notre Dame. “Mystery Man”;
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo- psychologically-complicated MALE, intimately involved in the hoax (made the picture for the fake twitter), has some relationship to T’eo, though it’s nature is unclear at this point;
Diane O’Meara- a real human being whose the “face” of the twitter account, claims no part in the hoax, her identity was allegedly “stolen”;
Lennay Kekua- the supposed girlfriend/fiancee of T’eo who “died from Leukemia” in faked death the same day as T’eo’s Grandma– 9-11-12.
Liars come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it be a thin, veiney multiple Tour de France winner or a bulky, brown fresh-faced linebacker who finished second in the Heisman votes, people are often too reluctant to accept the truth. Nowadays, it is altogether too commonplace to see a star athlete ensnared in a scandal. Just last week on Oprah, for example, Lance Armstrong, an athlete who has done so much in representing our Country and basically introduced the USA to competitive biking, admitted that he cheated his way through the latter part of his career. With all of the recent scandals in the sports world, it has become a difficult task for athletes to believe they are invincible and get what they want. They all too often end up sitting at the table with their criminal defense attorney.
In recent news, Manti T’eo, a linebacker for Notre Dame, has become apart of one of the
most wild stories to surface in a while. At best this dude is a “Mystery Man”; at worst he may be a self-serving liar of unprecedented Heisman history. From a fictitious girlfriend and an online love affair, T’eo has reported to have been apart of a hoax. Reports show that T’eo was involved in an online relationship with a female student from Stanford under the alias of Lennay Kekua since his freshman year of college.
That’s right, a serious, spiritually based “this-is-the-one” RELATIONSHIP since he was a freshman at Notre Dame. Moreover, throughout these several years this intimate relationship existed there was no personal interaction whatsoever. They never met face-to-face.
T’eo has informed the media that he has just recently learned that this young woman faked her death and even worse, t
heir whole relationship was a scam. This was especially devastating news to the young man
because he recently lost a couple family members to cancer. Specifically, his beloved grandmother, on September 11th (that’s right, the same day the his imaginary lover died.) Although some –including his coaches apparently–may feel pity for the Fighting Irish football player, his bizarre tale of love and loss has become a very mysterious one that most people have not been able to put a finger on. Certainly not me nor my new legal assistant Tyler Martin, who’s helping me with this piece.
On the ABC news website, it has been reported that T’eo crafted the story to the media and altered the facts numerous times. T’eo stated that he was embarrassed to admit to family and friends that he was in love with a woman that he had never met; that he in fact “crafted” fake stories to family and friends to make sure they did not find out this fact. Well if one thing is
for sure, we know
love was not found at first sight for this couple. (I wonder who actually received the white roses T’eo sent to his cyber-sweetie?)
As T’eo keeps reassuring the media and reporters that he had nothing to do with the hoax, many people feel that his story seems “catfishy“. Before the Heisman ceremony, news came out that T’eo lost his girlfriend to cancer. Could this have been a ploy in an attempt to get sympathy votes for Heisman? With as many lies as mystery man has given the media, it has become extremely difficult to trust anything that passes this Hawaiian’s lips.
As evidence keep seeping its way into the media this week, we now know that Kekua told T’eo she was in a “automobile accident” and suffered a personal injury and a “coma”; The at-fault driver was driving under the influence and guilty of a DUI. T’eo admitted he never made an attempt to visit her while she was in the-hospital
because he was busy with school. I know, right?!?
The story gets even better! According to ABC news, the relationship was intense. The “couple” had a ritual of discussing the scripture from the Book of Mormon. Both parties even kept in contact with each other’s families! I want to know who was playing the part of Mr. and Ms. Kekua? Step aside Jersey Shore! Scoot over, Downton Abby!
Although his story may sound crazy, teammates are reassuring the media it is a hoax and T’eo is a true helpless and unwitting victim of the highest order. An unnamed teammate has told the media that when T’eo received the news of her death, he cried and grieved over her death. This unnamed player had reportedly spoken on the phone with Kekua and did not seem suspicious at the time.
Getting back to the Katie Couric interview, I just did the unthinkable (for any of you who know me and my feelings towards Katie, Oprah, et. Al. ): I watched it! And to give the Devil her due, she asked some hard and direct questions.The question that created the biggest moment of drama:
“Manti, people are speculating that you fabricated this imaginary girlfriend in an effort to cover up your sexual orientation. Manti, are you gay?”
I am a firm believer in body language. Immediately after asking this bombshell, T’eo began to laugh. Visibly and earnestly.
“Of course not Katy. I’m not gay. In fact I am far FAR FAR from it!!! You wouldn’t believe how far from gay I really am.”
(Camera cuts to audience to several beautiful young Hawaiian ladies who can barely control their laughter at the absurdity of Couric’s question about their friend’s sexual orientation)
What a relief! I sure am relieved that Manti T’eo is not gay. So glad that he finds this particular “allegation” to be so comical and absurd. (As do his groupies, apparently) To be sure, T’eo is not gay; rather, he’s a Narcissist with a borderline “God Complex” who maintains, for YEARS, a passionate, heartfelt, exclusive relationship with an imaginary girl he has never met. About whose death and true identity T’eo bald face lies to the world a mere two days after he allegedly “learns” the cold harsh reality of the situation.
It now looks like three (3) different actors “faked” the girlfriend’s voice. And the LEAD actor was a MAN. A high school friend of manti who wanted a relationship of some sort with the star and thought this may be the only way??? (He’s hired a lawyer).
I hope this blog has stoked the embers enough to get some answers from YOU GUYS, since no one else seem to have them right now. I’ll even whittle it down to four (4) basic questions that baffle my damn mind.
1. Was T’eo a willing participant in this scam?
2.At what point did he truly realize his cyber lifemate didn’t exist?
3. Will T’eo be able to survive this controversy and develop into a force within the NFL?
4. Even in today’s cyber-culture, how could you find a life partner in someone you have never
met in person?
Answers to any or all of the above would be GREATLY appreciated. By EVERYONE!
J.L. Mann Cromer, Jr. Served as the only True Independent Member of the South Carolina General Assembly from 1990- 1998. Currently, he is serving in his 14th year as Reading Clerk for the S.C. House. Additionally, Bubba is a General Practice Attorney in Columbia, South Carolina, concentrating in Probate & Estate Planning, Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Law.