MTV’s ’Catfish’ creators have launched their own investigation into Manti Te’o's girlfriend hoax. Surprisingly, they’re defending the football player.
After it was revealed that Manti Te’o's late “girlfriend,” Lennay Kekua, who supposedly died of leukemia, never existed, the University of Notre Dame linebacker claimed he was a victim of an elaborate hoax on Jan. 16. The creators of MTV’s Catfish, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, who are obviously very familiar with such a situation, revealed that they believe the football player is a victim.
MTV’s ‘Catfish’ Producers Investigate Manti Te’o Girlfriend Hoax
Speaking out on the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax that has taken the internet by storm, leaving many utterly befuddled people in its confusing wake, the producers of MTV’s show, Catfish: The TV Show, have begun their own investigation into exactly what the truth is, regarding Manti Te’o and his now-known-to-be-fake girlfriend, Lennay. Is he the victim of a hoax? Or is he lying to the world about something he’s been privy to, all along? One of the producers had this to say about the whole ordeal:
“From what I gathered, and from some contact that has been made with me with people who have been involved in this story directly, I get the impression that this is a much larger scheme than he would have thought,” Nev said. “It doesn’t seem to me that he is in on it, although, of course, that is yet to be seen. I think, even though it seems hard to believe and he is a high-profile football player, he is just as vulnerable and susceptible to being Catfished as anyone.”
What Is A ‘Catfish’ Scheme?
The term “catfish,” as used to describe a relationship, originates from the 2010 film, Catfish, which is a documentary (although, the authenticity of this documentary has been called into question) that follows a young man in New York City, as he begins an online relationship with a young woman, via Facebook.
As it turns out, the young woman this man believes he is building a relationship with does not exist, and her Facebook account and photos are all part of some strange hoax.
The MTV show, Catfish: The TV Show, has a concept similar to the movie, and follows the lives of people in online relationships.
If Lennay Kekua Is Fake, WHO Is The Woman In The Photographs?
The photos of a woman that had been identified as Lennay were actually those of a 23-year-old woman from California, Diane O’Meara, who had never met the football player, 21.
“It appears as though someone created Lennay’s profile on Twitter, at the very least, and was engaged in relationships with people apart from Manti,” Nev said.
“That’s definitely something that goes with what we’ve seen. They’re generally not one-off relationships with people who engage in Catfishing,” Max added. “People enjoy talking to more than one person, for various different reasons. When we meet them, they generally confess to doing it for a number of years and having spoken to anywhere from one to hundreds of people.”
Manti Te’o’s Statement On Girlfriend Hoax
Manti issued a statement on Jan. 16., saying:
“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. 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. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating. In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was.”
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Is Manti a victim of a ‘Catfish’-type scheme? Or do you think he’s been in on the girlfriend hoax all along?
— Chris Rogers, with Contributions From Debra Krein
More On Manti Te’o's ‘Catfish’-Like Girlfriend Hoax:
- Manti Te’o Girlfriend Hoax Mastermind Used Fake Story For ‘The Voice’?
- Manti Te’o’s Girlfriend Is Alive — Lennay Kekua’s Identity Revealed
- Manti Te’o’s Fake Dead Girlfriend Is Real, Claims Arizona Cardinals Player