Because you wanted more layers to this terribly confusing story about Manti Te’o’s deceased girlfriend that never was, here you go. Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Mauia says he met Lennay Kekua while doing charity work in American Samoa in 2011.
Now remember, both Notre Dame and Manti Te’o said Te’o was the victim of an elaborate hoax. Whether or not Te’o was in on it is still up for debate, but it’s been almost universally agreed upon, and put almost past the point of suspicion by Deadspin, that Kekua did not exist.
Still, Mauia believes she did, and that she looked like a model.
“This was before her and Manti,” Mauia said Wednesday evening. “I don’t think Manti was even in the picture, but she and I became good friends. We would talk off and on, just checking up on each other kind of thing. I am close to her family. When she was going through the loss of her father, I was — I offered a comforting shoulder and just someone to bounce her emotions off. That was just from meeting her in Samoa.”
Mauia said Tuiasosopo — whom Mauia believes is Kekua’s cousin — introduced the two. After the initial meeting, Mauia said he met her at an “after-party” for all of the athletes involved in the camp.
“She was tall,” he said. “Volleyball-type of physique. She was athletic, tall, beautiful. Long hair. Polynesian. She looked like a model … “
We probably don’t have to make anything of this. Mauia probably won’t be the last person to come out of the woodwork and admit to meeting or knowing Kekua, but there’s a certain chance none of them will be telling the truth.