ESPN reportedly sat on the story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend for 10 days before Deadspin exposed the hoax on Wednesday. A Notre Dame spokesman said the school learned that Te’o’s deceased girlfriend “Lennay Kekua” wasn’t real on Dec. 26 when Te’o explained he was the “victim” of a hoax.
But as Twitchy reported yesterday, the news was floating around Twitter even earlier. On Dec. 3, a now-suspended Twitter user with the [email protected] tweeted, “Do a background check and you’ll see that not only did Lennay Marie Kekua not die, she never existed!”
As Twitter user Justin Megahan tweeted, that wasn’t the only December outing of Manti Te’o’s phony Internet girlfriend.
On Dec. 4, another Twitter account — with this story, we hesitate to call @jayRahz another person — indicated that Lennay’s existence was a hoax.
BuzzFeed notes that “Titus Tuiasosopo, the father of Ronaiah, who Deadspin pointed to as the perpetrator of the hoax, is a pastor.” And Deadspin reported that “Te’o and Tuiasosopo definitely know each other.”
@jayRahz continued to tweet about the hoax in December and early January, sometimes with Twitter [email protected]
After the Deadspin story was published and people started digging even more, @jayRahz and @ceeweezy51 defended themselves on Twitter.
Yeah, well, hindsight and all that.
Another twist, via SBNation:
The media are a lot more interested in the bizarre story of Te’o’s imaginary girlfriend than digging into Benghazi and other stories of import.
We have a feeling they’ll tease apart this tangled web.