Congratulations are in order for hopeless romantic, imagined boyfriend and soon-to-be NFL linebacker Manti Te'o: he's finally made a sound decision. Te'o — who was of course duped into believing that he had a girlfriend and that she died of cancer when in fact "she" was actually a he — has deleted (or at least suspended) his Twitter account as he prepares for April's NFL Draft.
Is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo — the would-be gospel singer who crafted an elaborate fake online persona and "catfished" college football star Manti Te'o — gay? When Dr. Phil asked him for a soon-to-broadcast interview, Tuisasosopo said "yes." And then he quickly called himself "confused." And then he said this:
Dr. Phil says the man behind Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend Lennay Kekua, Roniah Tuiasosopo, told him he was "deeply, romantically in love" with Te'o and claims that the voice talking back to Te'o for countless hours on the phone was not his cousin, as reported by the New York Post, but him. Asked by Dr. Phil if he is gay, Tuiasosopo says that, yes, he is, then clarifies that he is "confused."
I never want a boyfriend until I meet him; Charles* got me effortlessly. He enlivened me. I felt free to say whatever as we swapped pop-cultural obsessions, revealing ourselves in the process. Or at least, that was the idea. I told him I was nasty like the dirt under SWV singer Coko's fingernails. I meant it.
Katie Couric's much-anticipated interview with Manti Te'o aired this afternoon and while it's hard to say anyone was surprised by the football star's fumbling manner and general stupidity, who knew that Katie could be so vicious?
Katie Couric's long-awaited, and equally as teased, interview with Manti Te'o aired this afternoon. Couric was not shy about addressing one of the most popular hypotheses about Te'o: "One of the theories, many theories, Manti, making the rounds is somehow you created this whole scenario to cover up your sexual orientation," Katie Couric begins. "Are you gay?"
In Manti Te'o's first televised interview since the news broke that his dead girlfriend story from last season was just a story, Te'o told Katie Couric that he did in fact lie about how much he knew to save himself the embarrassment. But still, the the 21-year-old Notre Dame senior told Katie that he had believed the fictional Lennay Kekua had "come out of her coma" while she was on the phone with him:
Okay. First, listen to this voicemail left on Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o's voicemail by his nonexistent "girlfriend," Lennay Kekua:
To hear Manti Te'o tell it, he's a victim of one of the greatest web hoaxes in the internet's relatively short lifespan. Te'o, the Notre Dame football star presently embroiled in a fake-dead-girlfriend scandal thanks to Deadspin, says that he was deceived for years by internet pranksters who led him to believe he was dating a woman named Lennay Kekua—a woman who, it turns out, never even existed. Te'o says those same pranksters eventually convinced him Kekua was in a serious car accident and then stricken with leukemia, only to die from leukemia in September of last year on the same day his grandmother died. In a word, it's fantastical. So fantastical, in fact, that a lot of people are having a hard time believing Te'o himself wasn't in on the scam at least partially. Though a lot of questions remain, one thing that's certain is that if Te'o is lying, he will have violated at least some of the regulations in Notre Dame's famously sacrosanct "du Lac" student code of conduct, which is when things get even more complicated.
Manti Te'o, the Notre Dame linebacker whose dead girlfriend was discovered by Deadspin to not have ever existed, is very visibly on the market right now. Maybe he's looking to pick up the pieces of his shattered personal life by falling into the arms of another fake girlfriend? If so (and who wouldn't be?), may I suggest that he consults namorofake.com.br, a Brazilian web site that allows you to buy a fake Facebook girlfriend.
As nearly everyone in America knows by now, the heartbreaking and inspirational story of Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o and his dead girlfriend was a hoax. As Deadspin conclusively proved yesterday, "Lennay Kekua," whom Te'o claimed to have dated until her death from leukemia last fall, never existed. But if Kekua isn't real, then what happened? Was Te'o the hoax's victim, or its perpetrator, or something else entirely? We run down six of the most popular theories.
This has been a fantastic week for media outrage, especially on Twitter. On Monday, a pro-Scientology ad in the Atlantic that was mocked up to faintly resemble an article generated hours of castigating tweets and countless op-eds. Then, last night, Deadspin broke the story of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o and the girlfriend who doesn't exist.