How Netflix’s ‘Untold’ Creators Landed on the Story of Manti Teo and His Girlfriend Hoax

How Netflix’s ‘Untold’ Creators Landed on the Story of Manti Teo and His Girlfriend Hoax

The new Netflix series, Untold: The girlfriend that didn’t exist, is to premiere today on the big screen. The show is about the infamous Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o and his allegedly fake affair.

It’s known as one of the biggest scandals in the history of college football. This catfishing tale of the footballer runs way deeper than the general audience like us ever thought. Listen to what the creators of the series have to say on the same.

Filmmakers of the Netflix original series speak about Manti Te’o and his alleged girlfriend

Ryan Duffy and Tony Vainuku are documenting the Netflix Original. The story’s main frame is that Manti Te’o, a Samoan-Hawaiin linebacker for Notre Dame, lied about being in a relationship with a girl who didn’t even exist. Now the reasons behind the hoax are pretty obvious: media attention and sympathy. But was that all?

When we got the news that we’d be able to make more “Untolds” and we’d have volume two, this was a story that was on our literal and proverbial whiteboard of sports ideas. it’s something that my brother and I remember very well, just kind of reading the news media on it and all the noise,said the creators.

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In December 2012, the footballer claimed live on a YouTube video that his grandmother and the love of his life both passed away on the same day in a gap of six hours. This story was appealing and attractive to Duffy and Tony. “For us as filmmakers, that’s when we knew, All right, we have something special here. I think we can go make this documentary film,” they said.

From a poster boy to a global joke, Manti lost it all

All the noise that surrounds him leads him to receive great support worldwide. The player also unlocked new heights of success in his field, all due to his half-truth about his loss.

Gradually, this fable took a dirty turn when his story went national in the following year. His rumoured girlfriend came to be known as Lennay Kekua, although no such girl ever existed. It doesn’t stop here. The girlfriend was said to be a Stanford student whom Te’o had wooed online. The fake account of the girl was also made, and this was done by a man from Seattle with, surprisingly, the same Samoan ancestry as the footballer.

Although this hoax fetched the footballer temporary fame and a little success, it became a massive red flag for the player sooner than expected. Later, it was again reconfirmed that a trans woman made the account on Facebook. The person could talk in a woman’s voice for which their relationship lasted for whatever period it did.

You can know all the details of this infamous incident by streaming Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist.

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