Manti Te’o’s Girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, Was Real, According to Cardinals Fullback Reagan Maui’a

Reagan Maui'aThis Manti Te’o story just keeps getting stranger and stranger.

For those unfamiliar, it was widely reported that Te’o’s grandmother and girlfriend died within days of one another in September. It was a story mentioned many times during the college football season, and was even used as reasoning for Te’o’s Heisman candidacy by some.

Deadspin reported on Wednesday that Te’o’s girlfriend was fake. It’s still unclear how much involvement the Notre Dame linebacker had in the hoax, but he had talked about meeting her and speaking with her on the phone in the past.

To complicate matters further, Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Maui’a claims that Lennay Kekua, Te’o’s fake girlfriend, is in fact real.

Maui’a spoke to ESPN on Kekua and told them he met her in American Samoa in June 2011.

“This was before her and Manti,” Maui’a told ESPN. “I don’t think Manti was even in the picture, but she and I became good friends. We would talk off and on, just checking up on each other kind of thing. I am close to her family. When she was going through the loss of her father, I was — I offered a comforting shoulder and just someone to bounce her emotions off. That was just from meeting her in Samoa.”

Mauia met Kekua through Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who was reportedly behind the hoax. Maui’a believed that Kekua was Tuiasosopo’s cousin. Kekua was explicit in saying that Kekua was real and thinks that her mother is running her Twitter account.

On Wednesday evening, Kekua’s account sent out the following:

So, apparently there is a Lennay Kekua, but maybe it’s not the one that Te’o thought he was dating? Because the picture Kekua was using on Twitter was of another woman that had never met Te’o. According to “Kekua’s” Twitter account, we’ll find out Thursday. Notre Dame also announced Te’o would be making a statement as soon as Thursday regarding the hoax.

Click here to follow all of the latest updates and developments in this bizarre story >>

Photo via Facebook/Reagan-Mauia

Photo of the Day

Twitter user @RealXVII noted this is a picture of Te’o hugging his girlfriend.

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Photo via Twitter/@RealXVII

Quote of the Day

“When he answered it, it was a person whose voice sounded like the same voice he had talked to, who told him that she was, in fact, not dead.”
– Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick on Te’o receiving a phone call from his fake dead girlfriend after she had fake died

Tweet of the Day

It will be very easy to trash-talk Te’o in the NFL.

Video of the Day

Well, this highly emotional piece holds about half as much weight now.

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