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Dr. Saturday

Lennay Kekua told Manti Te’o she faked her death to evade drug dealers

(AP)

Just when we all thought the story of Manti Te’o’s fake/dead girlfriend couldn’t get any weirder, it, well, does.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser posted a story Friday saying Te’o's fictitious girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, called Te’o on Dec. 6 and told he she faked her death to evade drug dealers.

And we're officially off the rails.

Te’o and Kekua had been dating since 2011 when Kekua supposedly passed away in September after a short bout with leukemia. Te’o, heartbroken, used several media outlets to tell the story of his girlfriend and the inspiration she provided him, but said this week he did not know she did not exist. He did acknowledge that their relationship was online and on the phone and that he had never actually met Kekua in person.

So, imagine Te’o’s surprise when Kekua, who has been dead for nearly three months, calls Te’o and tells him her tale of woe.

According to the article, Kekua – or whoever the person is posing as Kekua – tried to start the relationship back up again, but Te’o was leery of it. He asked Kekua to send him a photo with a date stamp on it so he could verify that was really her. She sent him the photo, but it was not enough to convince him. In the following weeks, he went to his family and coaches and told them he had been the victim of a hoax that began in 2009.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick confirmed Wednesday that Te’o did receive a call on Dec. 6 from a woman he thought to be his deceased girlfriend. Swarbrick also said after the initial call, there were subsequent attempts to restart the relationship.

It’s difficult to imagine which way this story is going to turn next. Whoever was impersonating Kekua must have had a reason to want to try to restart the relationship knowing it would be risky and Te’o might finally – after three years – find out it was all a scam.

Unfortunately, with Te’o not talking and a lot of questions still floating around about Kekua, Te’o’s involvement in the hoax and Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged perpetrator of the hoax, we might never know what really happened.

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