The sixth installment of the documentary series Incalculable is streaming on Netflix now and this time, the two-part docu-series explores Manti Te’o’s fake catfishing story.
In 2012, Manti Te’o’s world came crashing down when he was given the news that his grandmother and girlfriend had died on the same day of cancer.
But things only got worse when, just a few months later, Te’o learned that his girlfriend hadn’t died, or even existed in the first place.
Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist on Netflix explores the amazing real-life story, hearing from the two people at the center of it.
Newsweek has everything you need to know about Manti Te’o and where she is today.
Who is Manti Te’o?
Manti Te’o is a 31-year-old Samoan-Hawaiian soccer linebacker from Laie, Hawaii.
He played college soccer at Notre Dame and was later drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Teo has also played for the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears.
In September 2012, Te’o told several media outlets that he had suffered an immeasurable loss. Both his girlfriend and his grandmother had died on the same day.
He told the press that his girlfriend Lennay Kekua had been injured in a car accident and, during her recovery, was diagnosed with leukemia and, sadly, did not survive her illness.
However, the sports media began to cast doubt after Te’o’s athletic career began to blossom during the devastating cancer treatment and the death of his girlfriend, particularly after he was named as one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy, an award given to the most outstanding player in college soccer.
After receiving an anonymous tip in January 2013, Deadspin reporters Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey began investigating Te’o’s claims and published an article on January 16, 2013, alleging that his girlfriend, Kekua, did not exist.
According to Deadspin, the only images they had found online of Kekua were photos of another 22-year-old woman. Deadspin also found no record of Kekua’s death certificate or details of her enrollment at Stanford University.
In January 2013, Te’o’s team, Notre Dame, issued a statement alleging that Te’o was a victim of catfishing and that people were conspiring against him online. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick also announced that the university had hired private investigators to find out who was behind the hoax.
Despite several contradictions made by Te’o regarding claims that Kekua had approached him to tell him she was still alive in December 2012, despite announcing her death in September 2012, as well as the fact that to some the relationship appeared to be strictly online, Te’o’s family believed their son had met her in person.
Ultimately, Naya Tuiasosopo, a former acquaintance of Te’o’s who has since come out as a trans woman and uses the pronouns her/his, confessed that she was behind the deception. (As seen in UNTOLD: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, a note at the beginning of the episodes states “at the time of filming, the subjects were unaware that [Tuiasosopo] identifies as a transgender woman.”)
Speaking on an episode of Doctor Phil on January 31 and February 1, 2013, Tuiasosopo explained that she had fallen in love with Te’o and used Kekua as a way to talk to him. Tuiasosopo also revealed that she was the female voice leaving Te’o’s voicemails.
She also explained that Te’o was not involved in catfishing.
Tuiasosopo told Dr. Phil, “As twisted and confusing as it is, yes, I cared about this person. I did everything I could to help this person become a better person, even though I wasn’t getting any of it.” .”
At the time of the Tuiasosopo revelation, Te’o said in a statement obtained by ESPN, “It’s incredibly embarrassing to talk about this, but over an extended period I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online.
“We maintained what I thought was a genuine relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I came to care deeply about her.
I am enormously grateful for the support. from my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year.
“To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and the details I thought were true about it simply sickens me. I hope people can understand how difficult and confusing this whole experience has been. In retrospect, I obviously should I have been much more cautious If anything good comes out of this, I hope others will be much more cautious when interacting with people online than I was.
“Fortunately, I have a lot of wonderful things going on in my life, and I hope to put this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.”
Where is Manti Te’o now?
Today, Manti Te’o plays as a free agent and is a married man.
He married Instagram fitness personality Jovi Nicole in August 2020.
Announcing the news on Instagram, Te’o wrote, “I couldn’t give him the world, but I think I did better… I gave him my last name and it fits you Mrs. Te’o,” along with a picture of them on their happy day.
On her own Instagram account, Nicole shared that she married her “best friend” and the love of her life in an “intimate ceremony on the beach.”
Together, they welcomed their daughter Hiro into the world on August 12, 2021.
After the exposure of his girlfriend’s cheating, Te’o signed with the San Diego Chargers, committing to a four-year contract worth more than $5 million.
In March 2017, Te’o signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints but did not re-sign in 2018 when his contract expired. He did not re-sign until December 3, 2019.
On October 20, 2020, Te’o signed with the Chicago Bears practice squad and secured a spot on the practice squad/COVID-19 roster. With them, he played against his former team, the New Orleans Saints.
His contract with the practice squad ended on January 18, 2021, and Te’o has remained a free agent backfield since then.
Talking about his NFL journey after the scandal broke. UNTOLD: The girlfriend that didn’t exist, Te’o shared, “The first three years on the Chargers were like that. And it was a big contrast to that kid at Notre Dame. The soccer field, that was my domain, you know. Like, when I’m on the soccer field, I feel like nobody can beat me. And I played free, I played fast, and I played physical. And that’s what made me great.
“Now I go to the NFL and I question everything. Every day I was trying to figure out how to get rid of this anxiety, this numbness, this tingling. I’m trying to figure out all these ways to reprogram myself.” .”
“I’ll take all this crap. I’ll take all the jokes, I’ll take all the memes, so I can be an inspiration to whoever needs me to be.”