NFL

Manti Te'o Statement: Claims He Was Victim of "Someone's Sick Joke and Constant Lies"

Manti Te’o released a statement in response to Deadspin’s revelation that Te’o’s girlfriend Lennay Kekua was a hoax. Te’o claims he was the victim of “someone’s sick joke.”

“This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her.

“To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.

“It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother’s death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life.

“I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been.

“In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was.

“Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I’m looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.”

Meeting someone online and getting duped is naive, but understandable. It makes no sense to be embarrassed enough about the nature of the relationship to embellish the details, but at the same time let it become a national story. Not to mention, how does one “communicate frequently online and on the phone” without using Facetime or Skype? This explains little.

[Photo via Presswire]

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