Donna Tei, whose picture was used as part of the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax says she and her family have never met the Notre Dame star and have no idea how she got roped into the scam. A Notre Dame superfan says she struck up an online friendship with a person claiming to be U’ilani Rae Kekua, the older sister of Te’o's dead “girlfriend,” Lennay Kekua.
U’ilani later sent a photo to Jan showing a woman at a cemetery — and told her, “This is me and my family at Lennay’s gravesite. We’re spending the day here.” But the woman in the photo couldn’t have been U’ilani because U’ilani doesn’t really exist. TMZ tracked down the actual woman in the photo, Donna Tei, who lives in Carson, CA. When we asked Donna and her father if they had a connection to Te’o, he told us, “We don’t even know the guy.”
If there’s one thing I actually do believe so far in this story it’s that Donna Tei is probably telling the truth. “Catfishing” as they call it these days involves plenty of picture stealing from online profiles or just about anywhere. The psycho that concocted this scam obviously found a picture of Tei to use. A picture that might not be easily tracked. Who knows. I just know there are much better ways to spend your time. Good God. This is just such a mess.
Only reason it’s making news is because we’re dealing with Notre Dame’s football program. It’s the first time anyone notable has been “catfished.” As for Te’o I’m still skeptical on his involvement. Though I will say the internet is a powerful place and you just never know what to believe.