In September, Notre Dame football star Manti Te’orevealed his grandmother and his girlfriend hadpassed away within six hours of each other. Yesterday, Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey ofDeadspin published their findings claiming that Te’o’s girlfriend, Stanford student Lennay Kekua, had never existed. The photos belonged to a friend of a friend of Te’o’s who did not know the football star.
After the story broke, Notre Dame released astatement saying that Te’o was the victim of a hoax, as many other news outlets compared the story to that of the film and television show Catfish, in which photographer Nev Schulman finds out his girlfriend “Megan” is really an older woman named Angela. Following this news, Te’o also released his own statement, noting he was “looking forward to putting this painful experience behind [him].”