Meet Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the Man Most Likely Behind the Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend
The news shocked every college football fan. Every sports analyst. Every coach, teammate, and peers. But most of all, it shocked the warrior on the gridiron, a man who charges three-hundred pound linemen every game, chases down running backs as a hobby, and terrorizes quarterbacks daily, Manti Te’o.
The Heisman Trophy finalist won the hearts of millions of fans because of his heavy heart on the field due to his late girlfriend and grandmother. Captivated fans all over the world. Everyone wanted to root for this young man.
A leader on the field. Someone who plays with emotion and passion. For something greater than just a win. Manti was playing for his love. A beautiful, yet sad love story which his emotions could only be told by his domination on the field.
The evening of January 16th, 2013. Deadspin posted a story that proved that Manti Te’o’s alleged girlfriend, never even existed.
Questions immediately poured out from numerous journalists. A story on the SouthBendTribune website (which has since been deleted) stated the love story on how they first met. How they gazed into each others eyes and fell for each other.
Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel even wrote a feature story about how Manti would call his girlfriend while she was in a coma. It seemed legit. Everyone wanted to believe in it. No one would have thought that someone would betray another in such a horrific way.
This brings me to my main point, who is in charge of this dreadful and out of control mess?
Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
After hearing this story break. I just couldn’t believe that Manti Te’o was behind all of it. Maybe I just don’t want to give in to the fact that someone so highly regarded by nearly everyone, would stoop so low to make up a sob story to boost his Heisman chances.
After a few hours of researching, this is what I found.
Thanks to an article by Jack Moore from Buzzfeed.com, it has been concluded that two individuals have been making various hints that Manti Te’o’s girlfriend is fake. And ultimately, they know who is in charge of it.
A man by the twitter account of https://twitter.com/jayRahz tweeted
“My fam & I have an idea who the guy is behind the
@LennayKay profile & hes up there leading a worship band at his dad’s church! SMFH” on December 4th, 2012.
Then again on January 7th, he tweeted, “I wonder if the real Lennay Kekua is watching the game.. Cause I know the fake one that didn’t die is not watching over the Irish!
Then she followed up with a tweet a few hours after the story broke. “Because I love his family, I know& understand that this was all a hoax that went out of proportion& blew up to a bigger problem
By far the most revealing tweet of the past twenty-four hours has been by @JayRahz, “everyone needs to hit up Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and get the truth.. the truth will set you free!!”
Immediately after he attempted to clear C.Tuiotimariner’s name by tweeting, “
@ceeweezy IS NOT LENNAY KEKUA.. thats all RONAIAH!!”
After reading all of that, I had many questions about this mystery man. Including who he is, what prompted him to do this, and how to pronounce his name correctly. This is what I’ve dug up.
Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey from Deadspin put in a tremendous amount of effort and work. Here is an excerpt from their article.
“We spoke with friends and relatives of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo who asserted that Ronaiah was the man behind Lennay. He created Lennay in 2008, one source said, and Te’o wasn’t the first person to have an online “relationship” with her. One mark—who had been “introduced” to Lennay by Tuiasosopo—lasted about a month before family members grew suspicious that Lennay could never be found on the telephone, and that wherever one expected Lennay to be, Ronaiah was there instead. Two sources discounted Ronaiah’s stunt as a prank that only metastasized because of Te’o’s rise to national celebrity this past season.”
Ronaiah is 22 and a former California high school quarterback and leads the worship band at his fathers church; Oasis Christian Church in Antelope Valley, California.
A source who spoke to Deadspin reporters, said that Ronaiah is a family friend of Te’o’s, and some of his friends and family have confirmed that he was the orchestrator of Kekua’s online persona. He was also a high school classmate of the woman, identified by Deadspin as “Reba,” whose photos were used to make a convincing online profile for Kekua.
So far the prompt for him to lead Manti Te’o on a horrible hoax is unknown. I’m assuming that he was just messing around and got carried away.
Let’s hope it turns out that Manti Te’o is completely innocent. I’ll continue to update this story as I uncover more information