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Tokay High School graduate claims he met Manti Te’o’s late, fake girlfriend

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 1:41 pm | Updated: 6:02 am, Fri Jan 18, 2013.

The newest voice in the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax drama is Tokay High School graduate Reagan Maui'a, a former NFL player. Te'o is a Notre Dame linebacker surrounded by controversy relating to a woman named Lennay Kekua.

Te'o claimed Kekua was his girlfriend, but that she died of leukemia in September 2012.

Reporters at Deadspin say they have discovered the girl never existed.

The apparent hoax is drawing huge interest online, in part because the death of the linebacker's grandmother and girlfriend created a sympathetic storyline for Te'o as the season progressed.

Some have wondered whether Te'o is the victim of a hoax or a willing participant.

Enter Maui'a, 28, who told ESPN he met Kekua in person twice in 2011.

Maui'a played three games as fullback for the Arizona Cardinals in 2012, but was cut from the team in October. He had previously played for the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Maui'a graduated from Tokay High in 2002, following a four-year career in football and track. After high school, he attended the University of Hawaii, and played as a defensive lineman and fullback.

During his time on the roster for the Dolphins in April 2008, Maui'a was arrested on battery charges for punching another man in the parking lot of a Weston, Fla. restaurant. In February 2009, he was arrested again on charges of drunk driving in Stockton.

Maui'a told ESPN that he was introduced to Kekua by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a close friend of Te'o's. Maui'a believes that Tuiasosopo was Kekua's cousin.

Kekua and Maui'a met in American Samoa while several football players were doing charity work in June 2011.

"This was before her and Manti," Maui'a told ESPN on 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."

The second meeting took place at a party for athletes.

"She was tall," Maui'a told ESPN. "Volleyball-type of physique. She was athletic, tall, beautiful. Long hair. Polynesian. She looked like a model ... ."

Efforts to reach Maui'a on Thursday were unsuccessful. At 7:12 a.m., he posted on his public Twitter account that he was not available for interviews.

"If ur calling me for a story, plz don't, I have better things to do ... I gotta make breakfast," he tweeted as @Reagan_Mauia45.

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  • Sunny Samuels posted at 6:43 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Sunny Samuels Posts: 55

    I think he was catfished. Let's get Nev Schulman on the case. I want to see the real person behind the profile to be outted and embarrassed by their actions. I say 'their profile" only because the girl on the other end of the profile could be a guy. If you don't know what Catfishing is please google it or search for 'Catfish the show' on MTV and put it on your DVR.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:04 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Actually I thinkit is a very GOOD thing this is all over the news and being made such a good deal. A LOT of young people are being duped by invisible online strangers who pretend to be someone else in order to gain trust from their victims. With such a headline story as this it creates a learning opportunity for those who didn't already know, not to trust someone they ONLY met on line and NEVER agree to meet someone who is only an on-line friend.

    So I guess people who care about others NOT being taken advantage of care. This isn't a "football" story. It is a cyber identity story and one parents should talk with their kids about. I did.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:22 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4301

    Why is this even a story? Who REALLY cares!!!



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