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Manti Te’o’s Real Life Catfish Story

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Everyone has gone crazy over the sensation hit show “Catfish” on MTV. Based on the documentary of the same name, “Catfish” the series chronicles real life people as they figure out if their online crush is real or just another internet hoax. Notre Dame All American linebacker Manti Te’o had his own catfish story that called for a lot of media attention.

Reportedly, Te’o had an online relationship with a woman who went by the fake name “Lennay Kekua”. The phony woman hoaxed the linebacker into believing Kekua was dying  of leukemia in September. Te’o was open about the relationship and spoke on Kekua’s battle, gaining the hearts of the Football nation.

The story takes a turn as it was exposed in the media that the story was a lie, 10 days after Te’o learned the truth himself. Despite learning that Kekua was a hoax on December 6, the football player continued to speak about her battle with leukemia in interviews on December 8 in a newspaper interview published December 10, according to the Huffington Post.

The producers of the MTV series “Catfish” have reached out to Te’o, including Nev Schulman, the original catfish. Schulman tweeted to Manti, “I know how you feel. It happened to 2 me. I want 2 help tell ur story & prevent this from happening to others in the future. Let’s talk.”

Nev’s brother, Ariel Schulman is the co-producer of the show. He appeared on Good Morning America and said that Manti had not returned interview requests, but the crew have learned a bit of information from behind the scenes. He said the show has uncovered a few people who were hoaxed by the fake Kekua character.


Shanika Simmons


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