Speaking for the first time since Wednesday’s revelation that his girlfriend who had allegedly died of cancer never existed and was a hoax, Manti Te’o on Friday that he saw no red flags when he initially started to talk to “Lennay Kekua” because his friends and family told him “Lennay” was a real person.
Te’o told ESPN:
I thought it was natural. It seemed natural. It seemed like even though I just met her, she knew a lot about me already. No red flags popped up. Initially when I started to talk to her, obviously, I didn’t see her yet, so I asked other people who knew of her and who had history with her, ‘is this girl real? ‘ And all of them said, ‘yeah, she’s real.’ So that kind of gave me confidence, that, yeah, I’m fine.
Te’o said he reached out to his first cousin, who said he knew “Lennay,” and former Oregon State quarterback Lyle Moevao, who also told Te’o, “Yeah, I know her.” Te’o said Moevao told him “Lennay Kekua” was “kind of weird” but “real.”