Who is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man allegedly behind Lennay Kekua, Manti Te'o's non-existent dead girlfriend? (Updated)

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  • rok San Diego, CA
    Jan. 19, 2013 10:35 p.m.

    I wish the people in the media could learn to say Te'o correctly. It doesn't rhyme with cow.
    He said in the ESPN interview that he wasn't a hundred percent sure she didn't exist until a few days ago. Maybe he thought she existed, but that he got played by other people pretending to be her.
    He said in another interview after he first learned that something was up, when someone asked him what inspired him, and he said his girlfriend's death. Even though he now knew that it was some kind of hoax and that he had been lied to, thinking that the girl existed but wasn't really dead, he still was correct in saying that the "death" had inspired him.

  • alternate Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    Who cares! My word, let this thing go. It is much to do about nothing. Leave the kid alone. The media needs to find a new whipping boy. I have a real good idea. Each week, lets pick one media type, reporter, TV person, etc and carefully vet their lives, jobs, friends, etc. Should produce great reading material for these no news day.

    Over done, finished.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Jan. 19, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    When one studies Polynesian history and culture, it becomes apparent that something known as "Talk Story" has always been very important to Hawaiians, Samoans, Tongans, and other island people. Others around the world have passed down stories, and made up stories in hopes of assisting "their people" throughout thousands of years.
    Are today's Polynesian families following these ancient traditions?
    Could others, acquainted with this culture, have possibly spotted this strange situation as falling into this category?
    Stranger things have happened.....

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 19, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    And how long will it be until we find out that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo isn't real either?

    Jan. 19, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    Teo's mistake was forgetting he'd have a hard time finding an LDS Poly in South Bend. That he had an emotional attachment with an online girl is not stunning...eHarmony and Match make a fortune with people falling in love who never met. Teo had few options other than online.

    Once he learned the whole thing was a hoax, I imagine he informed Kelly and the AD wanting to know what to do. Anybody really believe the Domers would call a press conference and come clean, with all the love they'd gotten from the media and a game with 'Bama on the horizon? They probably told Teo to let it slide, ride it out, and allow the whole thing to go away as he rode into the west with a possible Heisman and an NFL contract under his arm. And oh, by the way, Notre Dame could continue to enjoy all that newly acquired glory without tarnish. The kid probably followed orders under some pressure, as well as a ton of guilt.

    I expect the Irish to throw him under the bus if there is any chance they get exposed in a coverup; yet again a victim.

  • nomo Draper, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    Give the guy a break, compared to what has gone on in Washington and Wall Street the past few years the guy is a saint!. I am more upset with a media that thinks they can print articles that go against all human logic and we are all supposed to accept it. The holes in the Manti Teo story are so large you can drive a truck through it. Yet we are all supposed to believe some ESPN writer, because he says so. The ND explanation was so lame you would have to be more gullible than Manti to believe it. Do these writers really believe the general public is that stupid..Maybe so?

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Manti Te'o told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap he was a victim and "never" part of an elaborate hoax. Details of the interview are posted and hearing Manti's side of the story clears up alot of the questions about how he was duped and why he continued to believe that Lennay Kekua might still be a real person until just hours before the Deadspin story broke.

    What's most apparent is that Manti was not involved in some elaborate plot to embellish his Heisman candidacy, although he may have embellished his "relationship" with Lennay at times.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    To: ESPN,the DN and the rest of the media-Let's move on from this story,leave it to The National Inquirer. He's young, he made mistakes. Hopefully he'll learn from them. The depth of the coverage from sports media seems predatory to me.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Time to move on.

  • JapanCougar Apo, AP
    Jan. 19, 2013 1:08 a.m.

    I think a very important aspect that many are missing is the stigma associated with online dating.
    When a high profile football player has a girlfriend he met online that he has never met in person can you imagine the ridicule other players would put on him for this? Most football players live a very different lifestyle from Manti and would already be prone to ridicule a guy who doesn't consummate every dating relationship. To me this explains why he was never forthcoming about the fact that they had never met in person. It would label him a weird and nerdy.

    Secondly, after the media jumped on this story it was and would be very hard to come forward as soon as he knew that he had been duped and tell everyone--'hey I'm a really simplistic, gullible guy.'

    Give the guy a break.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    To all of you who are blaming the media here keep in mind that the Te'os played the media and brought this on themselves. Live by the sword; die by the sword.
    If he had kept this fantasy lover to himself there would be no public backlash. The parents joined in as well.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Jan. 18, 2013 7:46 p.m.

    Lets wait until all the facts are in.The media can't let go because they were duped and now everyone is jumping to conclusions based on the media which can not be trusted.Go out and get a little exercise besides Jumping to Conclusions -- " O that men could see a little clearer, or judge less harshly where they can not see".

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 7:24 p.m.

    All should read carefully a CES talk given by Elder David Bednar entitled THINGS AS THEY REALLY ARE. Giving heed to Elder Bednar's Apostolic warning could have saved a lot of people a lot of grief. Sad! Really.

  • Jim1027 St. George, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    I think we should reserve judgment until we know all the facts and the facts are proven. Even then, who are we to judge? Is there anybody on the earth that have never lied?

    I have to confess that I've had many women deceive me online. One woman claimed she was imprisoned, raped, and molested by a guy and finally broke free and he was in jail. I googled this and found nothing. I called the local newspaper and found nothing about it. This woman had me going for about 6 months. I admit I was ready to go pay her a visit, but until that time, I thought she was xyz and she was abc.

    It happens. And if Manti is a nice guy, without a lot of experience with women, and potentially about to be rich, it can happen in a big way.

    All the best to him and his family!

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Jan. 18, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    His friend is trying to bail him out.
    He knows he's caught for his lies.
    Ah the celebrity life.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Jan. 18, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    Who cares?? I've got golf to play tomorrow.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 18, 2013 3:46 p.m.


    "Nothing in this adds up. Everyone just needs to come clean."

    I think I detect a future special feature on the Oprah Winfrey network!

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    Let's take a look at what we are asked to believe here.
    1) Manti was duped by a family friend.
    2) The hoax went on for three years. How can that be? The reveal comes after a couple of weeks unless there is serious cash flowing.
    3) There is overhead to run a scam like this. A phone, a girl, time to be available 24/7 and talk for eight hours on the phone, the logistics of almost meeting...
    4) He remained hidden from the family all this time.

    This still doesn't smell right.

  • teleste Austin, TX
    Jan. 18, 2013 1:48 p.m.


    He and ND have said he was made aware on December 6...not 26.

    He made repeated references to "her" after that time. On December 8 during Heisman weekend he even said something to the extent that her death was the toughest point of the season.

    I still don't buy it.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    I think that after the hoax became apparent to Manti on Dec. 26, he took the necessary and proper actions. He had a national championship to play for, plus there were hundreds of legal considerations for him personally and the university.....so on and so forth. Sometimes you don't just get a call from a person you thought was dead and go on the news the next day and announce it to the entire world. This type of thing was on a need to know basis only. Manti and his legal team were working to tell the public, but they needed to do it at a time when they knew some factual material to go on. How would you respond to getting a call from a "dead" person? I for one would not just go out and announce it on Oprah the next day. Te'o was victimized.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    Nothing in this adds up. Everyone just needs to come clean.

  • teleste Austin, TX
    Jan. 18, 2013 12:47 p.m.


    Not at all. Christianity teaches us we all are sinners. As such, this fits right in line.

    Turning away from one's sins is what Christianity teaches we can do through Christ...this guy still has a chance to do just that.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    This Hoaxer is exaclty what gives Christianity a bad name. Hypocrisy and deceit to the max.

  • teleste Austin, TX
    Jan. 18, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    Te'o still referred to his imaginary girlfriend even after he said he was made aware of the "hoax" as reported by ESPN this morning.

    That screams willing participant to me.