This year, the renowned entertainment platform, Netflix, launched a miniseries called ‘The Bride That Never Was’. The audiovisual bet tells the story that went through the renowned American soccer player and native of Laie, Hawaii, United States, Manti Te’o.
The girlfriend that never existed
Manti’s name began to be recognized at the end of 2012 thanks to his prowess in sports and his performance on the court. Additionally, when he was involved in criticism and news about his love affair.
Te’o’s family and close friends knew that he was in a relationship with Lennay Kekua, a Stanford University student who contacted him through Facebook and with whom he was close for several years.
Lennay always maintained contact with the player via the Internet. Something that began to generate doubts in Manti and her close friends.
Te’o won the hearts of all of North America when he dedicated his best season to his grandmother, who passed away on September 11, 2012, the same day he learned of the death of his romantic partner. According to the story, Lennay had discovered she was suffering from leukemia after a traffic accident and after battling the disease, she passed away.
However, the bombshell exploded in early 2013 when two journalists published an article on the internet claiming that Manti’s girlfriend was a fake.
Who was Lennay?
The article blamed Ronaiah Tuiasosopo for the hoax. Te’o knew him because he had been posing as Lennay’s cousin for a long time.
The photos Lennay had on his Facebook profile corresponded to a woman named Diane O’Meara, who was also unaware of the story.
Through a television interview, Manti confessed that the person with whom he had a relationship had cheated on him and his family.
On the other hand, he also indicated that in December 2012 he received a call from his alleged girlfriend, in which she confessed that she had invented his death to avoid a problem with drug traffickers and that it was then when Manti became suspicious.
“For a long time I developed a relationship with a woman I met on the Internet. We maintained what I thought was a genuine relationship communicating frequently on the Internet and by phone, and I became deeply attached to her. Realizing that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s practical joke and constant lies were, and is, painful and humiliating.
Sometime after the story broke, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo also went on television and confessed how he created Lennay’s profile and his relationship with Te’o.
In the TV space, Tuiasosopo clarified that he recreated the voice to sound like a woman and that he did the whole deception because he was in love with Te’o and wanted to be close to him.
Currently, Tuiasosopo, who used to be Lennay, is now a transgender woman under the name Naya.
After the scandal, the athlete continued his professional career in the NFL. Today he has a family with Jovi Nicole Engine.