2013 might seem like a simpler time after almost a decade. But that clearly wasn’t the case for American football linebacker Manti Te’o. The star linebacker for Notre Dame at the time, the Hawaiian athlete became the headline of the American news cycle and not for a good reason. Nine years later, we finally get a deeper insight into the scandal with Manti Te’o on Netflix.
A new Manti Te’o Netflix documentary
Recently, the Netflix Twitter account uploaded a trailer of UNTOLD: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, a two-part Manti Te’o Netflix documentary. It will grace the streaming platform on Tuesday, August 16. The story will unfold right before our eyes with exclusive interviews featuring Te’o and the Catfisher, Naya Tuiasosopo.
Manti Te’o and his online connection dominated headlines in 2013.
Now, for the first time, find out what really happened in UNTOLD: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist. Premiering tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/yBAQNU3RrF
— Netflix (@netflix) August 15, 2022
What seemed like a simple tale of an online hoax was, unsurprisingly, a traumatic ordeal for Manti Te’o. A young athlete on the brink of a bright future definitely did not deserve to go through public humiliation and become a meme-fodder. It is something that can happen to anybody. In an interview with the Guardian, Te’o said, “I’ll take all the jokes, I’ll take all the memes, so I can be an inspiration to the one who needs me to be,” regarding all the jokes at his expense.
What really happened back in 2013?
Manti Te’o had a phenomenal season at Notre Dame and everyone assumed that the linebacker would be a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft. He dedicated his outstanding season to his deceased grandmother and girlfriend. According to Te’o, both the crucial ladies in his life had passed away on the same day in December 2012.
With sympathy from the entire nation, things were looking up for the star Samoan-Hawaiian linebacker at Notre Dame. But just when he was at the pinnacle of success, the fact that his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, wasn’t real becomes breaking news. In fact, it was a fake Facebook profile created by Naya Tuiasosopo, who posed as a Stanford student and had a purely online relationship with Te’o under false pretenses.
Manti Te’o became the butt of several jokes after the story became public. While many believed that he was in on the scam and it was a publicity stunt, others thought he was a big fool. But people often forget that this was before online harassment, bot/fake accounts, and all other kinds of misinformation became a daily occurrence.
The internet is a scary place if one doesn’t exercise caution, and sometimes in spite of it. Hopefully, the release of this documentary will reveal the nuances of the whole can and provide some much-needed closure for the Hawaiian linebacker. Watch UNTOLD: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist on Netflix and let us know your thoughts.