The woman Manti Te’o thought was Lennay Kekua from photos has come forward and she’s not happy.
Diane O’Meara, a 23-year-old woman from Torrance, Calif., says she is the woman in the photos and that she did not give her consent to have them used as part of what appears to be a hoax.
[Dan Wetzel: What's not to believe about Teo's confession?]
“Somebody stole her identity,” a relative named Olga Volkov told The New York Post. “[O’Meara’s family] found out about it yesterday. They were shocked.”
According to Deadspin, the woman in the photo was a high school classmate of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man who appears to have perpetrated the hoax from the beginning.
O’Meara has retained a lawyer and he told Inside Edition that his client is also a victim in this hoax that continues to get stranger by the day.
Te’o never met Kekua in person, though he did talk to her on the phone several times. Te’o was told Kekua died on Sept. 12 after a short battle with leukemia. Months after Te’o’s heartbreaking story went public, he received a phone call from Kekua – or a person pretending to be Kekua – telling him she had not actually died.
At that point, after a three-year relationship with Kekua, Te’o learned that the woman he had called his girlfriend since 2011 was fictitious.
In fact, she was a marketing coordinator in Torrance, Calif.
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More Manti Te'o news from Yahoo! Sports:
• Manti Te'o denies involvement in hoax
• Money and notoriety fueled the hoax, Manti Te'o's uncle says
• Too early to know hoax's impact on Manti Te'o's NFL draft stock