Although Deadspin, Notre Dame, and Manti Te’o himself are saying Lennay Kekua never existed and was a fabrication in an elaborate hoax, one NFL player claims to have met her.Reagan Maui’a, a fullback for the Arizona Cardinals, told ESPN that he met Kekua doing charity work in American Samoa in 2011. Here’s what he said:
“This was before her and Manti. I don’t think Manti was even in the picture, but she and I became good friends. We would talk off and on, just checking up on each other kind of thing. I am close to her family. When she was going through the loss of her father, I was — I offered a comforting shoulder and just someone to bounce her emotions off. That was just from meeting her in Samoa.”
Maui’a said it was Ronaiah Tuiasosopo — the person who Deadspin reports invented Kekua on the Internet — who introduced the two. Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers was allegedly there as well.
He said it is his understanding that Kekua’s mother is operating her Twitter account. He said he’d never met her mother. When told by a reporter that she apparently might not have existed, Mauia said: “No, she is real.”
Deadspin reports that the evidence is overwhelming that Kekua — at least the person we taught Kekua was — did not exist. There is no death certificate, or record of her having graduating from Stanford.
So perhaps Maui’a’s claim is just proof that there is a whole lot that we just don’t know right now.
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