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Notre Dame superstar linebacker Manti Te'o claimed to be a victim of a hoax, stating the death of his girlfriend in September never happened.
Back in September, Te'o told multiple media outlets that his girlfriend Lennay Kekua had died after a terrible car crash and leukemia, hours after his grandmother passed away, Deadspin reported.
Despite the tragic events, Te'o's perseverance helped lead Notre Dame to an undefeated regular season in 2012 and to the BCS Championship game.
Te'o was able to do play the whole season, right after the passing of his grandmother and his girlfriend, whose funeral he did not attend.
Deadspin reported that Kekua did not want Te'o to be in the funeral because she wanted him to honor her by the way he played. All these had boosted his fame.
However, it was a question whether Kekua had ever died, because she never existed in Te'o's life.
According to TMZ, the Kekua photograph that had been used by the media was a picture of a South Californian woman who had never met Te'o.
The woman was interviewed by Deadspin, admitting that she was puzzled when she saw her picture up in the media.
"That picture, is a picture of me from my Facebook account," she said.
Was Te'o in the hoax?
He said no, and released a statement that read, "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," 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."