Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Did a Notre Dame Football Star Get Catfish-ed?

Nev Schulman wrote the (hand)book on "Catfish."

I don't know about you, but I'm OBSESSED with "Catfish: The TV Show." (Last night's episode, with the hot A&F model-looking college kid in Michigan who got quite a surprise when he met his "dream girl," was the best one yet. Hey, boo!!) But now we may be seeing the highest profile case of CATFISH-ing to date. Star Irish football player Manti Te'o was apparently involved with a girl he met online named Lennay Kekua. As he was competing this season, tragedy struck -- so he opened up to the media letting them know his girlfriend had been involved in a tragic car accident ... and then later died (of leukemia). All of this happened within days of his grandmother passing away. His ability to continue playing well in the face of so much tragedy became the feel-good story of the year, making him a sympathetic figure with Heisman voters -- only now it turns the whole thing was a hoax. Some think he was behind it, perhaps letting the story get bigger and bigger in hopes of garnering sympathy and bring home that trophy at any cost. (He came in second, by the way.) But I get the feeling he was really duped -- perhaps by a family friend who had done this before, from what I've read -- and that even though he was a jock who could get "real" girls, he was more comfortable in an online relationship because he is a devout Mormon and it was easier to not be temped this way. It will be interesting to see if my gut is right on this. My coworkers are CONVINCED he had to be in on it -- but whatever the case, it's messed up.

Read Deadspin's way-too-long and way-too-convoluted account HERE.

UPDATE: Manti Te'o issued the following statement:
This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating. It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother's death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life. I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been. In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was. Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.
UPDATE: Nev Schulman is all over it!


Anonymous said...

the host of that show is one hot otter. need to start watching this.

dishy said...

Hmmm, closeted gay boy in college football creating phony girlfriend? He had to be in on it - no one can be that stupid. Well, we all know that's not true.

Jay said...

Love this show....both guys, Nev and Max, are hot tickets. Nev - a hairy bear with a great smile and voice, and Max is a hot silver fox, aka, the poor man's Anderson Cooper....Almost every episode shows one of them shirtless...def a must watch!!

Anonymous said...

He said his "girlfriend" died when he hadn't even met the girl. Yup, he was in on it.

Also, I think the guy is GAY. Closeted. But GAY.

So much for hiding it and now it is all over the news! LOL


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