The Honolulu Star Advertiser sends us in into the weekend with one last twist in a story that gets more absurd by the day:
Manti Te'o has told family and friends that the woman who was the voice of his fictitious girlfriend “Lennay Kekua” called him in December and said she had to fake her own death months earlier to elude drug dealers, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned.
The woman, who has yet to be identified, tried to re-engage a relationship with Te‘o months after she supposedly had died of leukemia in early September, the Notre Dame All-American linebacker has told the people close to him. The account was shared with the Star-Advertiser by a source close to the Te‘o family.
According to the account, Te'o asked the woman to transmit a photo to him with a date stamp, which she did, but this did not allay his suspicions and he later told his family and Notre Dame officials about being scammed.
You can read the full exclusive here. The paper's unnamed source doesn't say specifically when the I'm-still-alive phone call occurred, but earlier this week Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told reporters that the call that tipped Te'o off that he had been catfished came on Dec. 6. "He received a phone call from a number that he recognized as having been associated with Lennay Kekua," Swarbrick said. "When he answered it, it was a person whose voice sounded like the same person that he had talked to, who told him she was, in fact, not dead."
We're still waiting for Te'o to speak publicly on the matter. It should also be noted that in the weeks between the Dec. 6 call and when Deadspin broke the story earlier this week, Te'o was still playing along with what he's since called a "sick joke" orchestrated by others.
Wonder what tomorrow will bring...