Just when it seems like the Manti Te’o story can get no stranger, it does.
“This was before her and Manti,” Mauia said Wednesday evening, via ESPN.com. “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.”
Mauia said he was introduced to Kekua by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man whom the original report regarding the hoax suggests had a role in the creation of the phony persona. Mauia believes Kekua’s mother operates her Twitter account, and Mauia disagreed with the suggestion that Kekua doesn’t exist.
“No, she is real,” Mauia said.
And now we’ll wait for the story to find a way to get even weirder.