Who is Manti Te’o and where is he now, according to Netflix’s “UNTOLD”?
The sixth episode of the documentary series Untold is now available on Netflix. This time, the two-part documentary series looks at the story of how Manti Te’o was tricked into believing he was someone else.
In 2012, Manti Te’o’s world fell apart when he found out that his grandmother and girlfriend had both died of cancer on the same day.
But things got even worse when, a few months later, Te’o found out that his girlfriend had never died or even existed.
In the Netflix show “Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist,” we hear from the two people at the center of this real-life story that will blow your mind.
What does Manti Te’o do?
Manti Te’o is a football linebacker from Laie, Hawaii. He is Samoan and Hawaiian and is 31 years old.
He played football in college at Notre Dame, and the San Diego Chargers picked him up in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Te’o has also played for the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints.
Even though Te’o has won a lot of sports awards, he may be better known for the fake girlfriend story that made headlines.
In September 2012, Te’o told a number of news outlets that he had lost something that could not be measured. On the same day, both his girlfriend and his grandmother had died.
He told the press that his girlfriend Lennay Kekua had been hurt in a car accident and was being treated for her injuries when she was told she had leukemia. Unfortunately, she died from her illness.
But sports media started to doubt Te’o when his sports career started to do well during his girlfriend’s cancer treatment and death. This was especially true when he was named one of the three finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which is given to the best college football player.
After getting a tip from an anonymous source in January 2013, Deadspin reporters Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey started to look into Te’o’s claims. On January 16, 2013, they published an article saying that Te’o’s girlfriend, Kekua, did not exist.
Deadspin said that the only pictures of Kekua they could find online were of another 22-year-old woman. Deadspin also couldn’t find Kekua’s death certificate or information about her time at Stanford.
In January 2013, Te’o’s team, Notre Dame, said that Te’o had been catfished and that people were plotting against him online. The athletic director of Notre Dame, Jack Swarbrick, also said that the school had hired private detectives to find out who was behind the hoax.
Even though Te’o said in different ways that Kekua had told him she was still alive in December 2012, even though she had said she was dead in September 2012, and even though some people thought the relationship was only online, Te’o’s family thought he had met her in person.
In the end, Naya Tuiasosopo, a former friend of Te’o’s who has since come out as a trans woman and uses the pronouns she/her, admitted that she was the one who made up the story. (At the beginning of each episode of UNTOLD: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, there is a note that says, “At the time of filming, the people who were interviewed did not know that Tuiasosopo identifies as a transgender woman.”)
Tuiasosopo told Dr. Phil on January 31 and February 1, 2013, that she liked Te’o and used Kekua to talk to him because she was in love with him. Tuiasosopo also said that she was the woman who was leaving voicemails for Te’o.
She also said that Te’o had nothing to do with the scam.
Tuiasosopo told Dr. Phil, “Even though it’s weird and confusing, I did care about this person. Even though I wasn’t getting anything in return, I did everything I could to help this person improve.
When Tuiasosopo told her story, Te’o said in a statement that ESPN got a hold of, “This is so embarrassing to talk about, but over a long period of time, I got close to a woman I met online.”
We kept up what I thought was a real relationship by talking to each other often online and on the phone, and I cared a lot about her.
When my grandmother died in September, I was sad and people were kind to me. It hurts me even more that what I thought was another big loss in my life made my grief and sympathy worse. I’m very thankful that my family, friends, and Notre Dame fans have been there for me this year. It makes me sick to think that I told them how happy I was about my relationship and what I thought to be true about her. I hope everyone can see how hard and confusing this whole thing has been. In hindsight, it’s clear that I should have been much more careful. If anything good comes out of this, I hope that people will be much more careful than I was when they talk to people online. I’m lucky to have a lot of good things in my life, and I can’t wait to put this painful experience behind me as I focus on getting ready for the NFL Draft.
What happened to Manti Te’o?
Today, Manti Te’o is married and plays as a free agent.
In August 2020, he got married to Instagram fitness star Jovi Nicole.
Te’o wrote on Instagram to tell people about the news, “I couldn’t give you the world, but I think I did better…
I gave you my last name, and Mrs. Te’o, it looks good on you,” with a picture of them on their wedding day.
Nicole wrote on her own Instagram that she got to marry her “best friend” and “love of her life” in a “small beach ceremony.”
After his fake girlfriend story got out, Te’o signed with the San Diego Chargers for a four-year deal worth more than $5 million.
Te’o signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints in March 2017, but when that deal was up in 2018, he was not re-signed. He didn’t sign on again until December 3, 2019.
Te’o joined the Chicago Bears practice squad on October 20, 2020, and got a spot on the practice squad/COVID-19 list. He played against his old team, the New Orleans Saints, when he was with them.
His contract with the practice squad ended on January 18, 2021, and Te’o has been free to go since then.
After the scandal came out in UNTOLD: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, Te’o talked about his time in the NFL. He said, “The first three years with the Chargers were like that. It was so different from that kid at Notre Dame. I was king of the football field, you know. I feel like no one can beat me when I’m playing football, for example. And I played freely, quickly, and with a lot of force. And that’s what made me so good. Now that I’m in the NFL, I have doubts about everything. Every day, all I did was try to figure out how to stop feeling anxious, numb, and tingly. I’m trying to figure out how to change all of these things about myself.”
“Give me all this garbage. I’ll take all the jokes and all the memes so I can be an inspiration to the person who needs me to be.”