Manti Te’o Reacts to Netflix-Documentary Help

Picture Supply: Getty / Donald Miralle

Manti Te’o is the topic of two episodes of Netflix’s documentary collection “Untold: The Girlfriend Who Did not Exist,” which element his experiences being catfished whereas he was a star faculty soccer participant and senior at Notre Dame. For the reason that present began streaming on Aug. 16, Te’o has been met with an outpouring of assist from followers new and previous, and on Aug. 20, he posted a public message of thanks on his Instagram.

“I simply need to come on right here actual fast, simply to provide a heartfelt thanks to everyone that has come by way of and has proven a lot like to me and my household, in your messages, in your feedback,” he says within the video. “I am making an attempt to undergo all of them, and it has been so superb to me to listen to the battles that we’re all dealing with, the challenges that we’re dealing with in our lives right now, and the way the documentary has given a few of us hope, the additional push simply to maintain going.”

He provides that he hopes the documentary will “give a few of us hope who wanted it, to inform those that wanted some love that they are beloved, and to assist them to forgive, to forgive others, and, most significantly, to forgive themselves,” he says within the message.

Te’o was a senior at Notre Dame in 2013 when, he believed, his grandmother and his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died on the identical day. Nevertheless, an investigation by sports activities weblog Deadspin found that Kekua, who Te’o had solely interacted with on-line on the time, truly didn’t exist. Subsequently, Naya Tuiasosopo, who has since come out as a trans lady, confessed to being the particular person behind the Lennay Kekua persona. Afterward, Te’o — as soon as a star athlete beloved by the nation — turned the topic of in depth ridicule.

The documentary portrays Te’o as a rule follower whose perception in individuals’s goodness and take care of the well-being of these he loves led him to fall prey to Tuiasosopo’s subtle rip-off, and followers have jumped to assist him because it aired. “Not sufficient superb issues may be mentioned about this man’s character. What an exceptional human being. Might all of us try to be this gracious and have this type of coronary heart,” wrote Twitter person @Mel_SpursLove. One other, sports activities analyst Thor Nystrom, wrote merely, “All of us owe Manti Te’o an apology.”

Te’o, who’s at the moment a free agent after stints with the San Diego Chargers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Chicago Bears, is now married to sports activities influencer and nurse-to-be Jovi Nicole Engbino, and the couple welcomed their first daughter, Hiromi, in August 2021. They’re at the moment anticipating their second baby — a son, Te’o revealed in an Aug. 16 interview on “CBS Mornings.”

Within the interview, he additionally mentioned the therapeutic he gained from making the documentary and shared that he was initially impressed to come back ahead and revisit his story by none apart from JAY-Z. “Cam Jordan with the Saints took a bunch of us teammates to a JAY-Z live performance,” he mentioned, recalling the 2017 occasion. “And at that live performance, JAY-Z opens with saying these phrases, ‘You can’t heal what you do not reveal.’ And it might have been just a few random phrases to everyone, however for me, at the moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks.” At that second, Te’o realized that “to ensure that me to type of heal from this,” he mentioned, “I wanted to disclose it.”

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