The only way he could be completely innocent is if he did indeed meet a girl and later someone else posed as that girl online. Of course the one he met would have to look a lot like the pictures of the fake one. There's way too much here to believe he was completely duped for this long, unless he is the most naive, trusting person out there....with a side of of "ridiculously stupid" to boot.
I'm not so sure that the "I'm naive and got duped" story is actually better for him in the long run than the "I concocted this entire thing to get in the spotlight" version.
I mean there's a long list of athletes and famous people who've been considered champions and all-time greats who've done the second thing..."anything to win" afterall. They are liars and foolish to think they could get away with the cheating they did but on the other hand, we live in a forgiving society and unlike Clemens and Bonds and Lance, Te'o still has his whole life ahead to make ammends.
If it's the first story, he's just dumber than a door knob.
1) There was (at least at some point) a real Lennay Kekua. Probably even Tuiasasopo's cousin. Lennay might have been a nickname used in the family, which would explain why the name doesn't show up anywhere. This would explain the supposed meeting with the Cardinals fullback. It is even possible that this person lived in Samoa and never came to the US. The fate of this person is uncertain.
2) Lennay Kakua was a fictitious persona that Tuisasopo, Te'o, or someone they knew, created a long time ago. Think "Regina Phalange" from Friends. Guy duped the Cardinals fullback, perhaps the woman he set him up with did not want to use her real name, and thus assumed the fictitious one.
Neither scenario explains why this whole Te'o girlfriend saga started, or even if Te'o was complicit. But it does explain why someone who seemed to be totally unconnected might think it was a real person.
This story just keeps getting increasingly bizarre...at this point any wild explanation seems plausible.
I'm just confused. This hoax guy Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is someone who reportedly created this "Lanney" persona/profile back in 2008 and has contacted other guys as well pretending to be "Lanney". That to be is beyond creepy! It's not like this "Lanney" fake chick popped up overnight to help someone's football career....
Also, did Te'o say he met "Lanney" face to face? There is report he met her in 2009, but then Te'o's twitter account has a tweet to "Lanney's" twitter on October 10, 2011 saying "Nice to meet ya ma'am"......I think the 2009 report out there is inaccurate. And the word "meet" doesn't necessarily mean face to face. Hasn't Te'o said he never met her face to face and it was just an online creepy relationship?
I think Te'o might just be naive and a victim to this creepy Ronaiah guy who created "Lanney" back in 2008 and has contacted other guys as well with this "Lanney" persona....