By Scott Gleeson, USA Today
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's inspirational story about playing in the weeks following his girlfriend's death and subsequent funeral in September turned out to be false after a Deadspin.com article revealed Te'o's girlfriend didn't exist.
In what has been described as an elaborate hoax, Te'o's girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, was an online persona created by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a friend of Te'o's and a pastor at a church in Palmdale, Calif.
In a statement issued by CAA, which represents Te'o, the Notre Dame star called himself a "victim" of "someone's sick joke." The response statement 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," Te'o said. "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." More at USA Today