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The shocking story involving Notre Dame star Manti Te’o apparently falling for an internet prank reminiscent of the MTV show Catfish has a lot of people scratching their heads in bewilderment.
In September, Te’o told the media his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who had leukemia, died following a car crash.
But as it turns out, Kekua never even existed and he became the subject of a Catfish-type hoax.
"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,” Te’o said in a statement. “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," he continued. "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."
Now, Nev Schulman, the creator of Catfish, which seeks to help people who are victims of the same hoaxes, is tweeting about the incident.
“I am working on finding out more about this @MTeo_5 #Catfish story. I have been in contact with the woman involved and will get the truth,” he wrote.
He even tweeted to Te’o, “@MTeo_5 I know how you feel. It happened 2 me. I want 2 help tell ur story & prevent this from happening to others in the future. Lets talk.”
Check out a trailer of Catfish the movie: