By now everyone has heard the bizarre tale of how Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o either created or was duped by someone pretending to be his online girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who was thought to have died from cancer.
Now it appears Te’o, whether he was the victim of an elaborate hoax or not, began seeing a (real) girl named Alexandra del Pilar not long after he says he was told Lennay died.
According to TMZ, Alexandra del Pilar is a 21-year-old student at St. Mary’s College in Indiana, a school not far from Notre Dame.
The two reportedly met on November 10 when Notre Dame played Boston College and dated for 2 months.
Six days after their reported introduction, Del Pilar posted a photo on Twitter of leis hanging from her car’s mirror. She thanked Te’o for her car “smelling so good ” in the text accompanying the photo.
The news of Te’o dating del Pilar so soon after the fake girlfriend’s death have brought forward even more questions. Still, Notre Dame says they stand with Te’o and maintain he was a victim.
Star linebacker Manti Te’o, whose relationship with a deceased girlfriend was central to the narrative of his Heisman Trophy campaign and Notre Dame’s unbeaten regular season, was the victim of an elaborate hoax, the school said Wednesday after a Deadspin story alleged the woman never existed.
In a statement provided by Creative Artists Agency, which signed him as a client last week, Te’o said he had developed an emotional relationship a woman he had met online and was “the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke.”
According to a Notre Dame statement, Te’o and his parents informed the school’s coaching staff on Dec. 26 – nearly two weeks before the Fighting Irish lost to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game – that he had been the victim of a “sad and very cruel deception.”
As details of this bizarre story keep coming out, the main question remains: Who is really behind the hoax?