Manti Te'o Has Some Holes in His Story

Says he learned of hoax on Dec. 6, but spoke of girlfriend in interviews after that

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 18, 2013 8:00 AM CST

(Newser) – If Manti Te'o really was an innocent dupe, tricked into believing he had a girlfriend with a tragic story, he's going to have some explaining to do, reports the AP. Two holes in Te'o's story so far:

  • Even though Te'o says he learned on Dec. 6 that "Lennay Kekua" never existed, he perpetuated the story at least twice after that in interviews.
  • Te'o claimed to have met Kekua in person, including once in a September interview with Sports Illustrated. "We met just, ummmm, just she knew my cousin," he said of their first supposed encounter. "And kind of saw me there so. Just kind of regular."

As for who "Lennay Kekua" really was, the New York Post reports that the woman seen in the fake Twitter account is Diane O’Meara, a 23-year-old marketing rep from California. “Somebody stole her identity,” a relative says. O'Meara is lawyered up and keeping quiet at the moment. "Te'o's story that he is completely innocent in this does not really ring true to us," said Timothy Burke, the Deadspin editor who co-wrote the original story, on CNN.

In this Jan. 5, 2013, file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o answers a question during media day for the BCS national championship.
In this Jan. 5, 2013, file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o answers a question during media day for the BCS national championship.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
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