Tim Burke, editor of Deadspin, discussed the hoax regarding Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o's dead girlfriend. Manti claimed he was dating a woman, Lennay Kekua, who died of leukemia in September on the same day his grandmother died, triggering an outpouring of support for the football star.
"While my grandma passed away and you take, you know, the love of my life [Kekua]. The last thing she said to me was, 'I love you,'" Te'o said at the time, noting that he had talked to Kekua on the phone and by text message until her death.
Tim, who first broke the story on Deadspin.com, told Anderson he felt it was hard to believe that a person as intelligent as Te'o could be duped for so long by a fake online girlfriend. Tim went on to say that he believes the culprit is actually a friend of Te'o's, saying, "We believe the person behind his girlfriend's profile to be kid named Ronaiah. Ronaiah comes from a long line of college football players, some of them played in the NFL, and he himself was once on track to receive a scholarship to play college football. We were told that they were either related or close family friends."
Te'o denied that he was in on the hoax.
"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 in a statement. "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."