Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Many aspects of the life story of Manti Te'o's supposed girlfriend are similar to events in the life of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who, according to reports, was the person behind the hoax.
As the story of the hoax surrounding Manti Te'o continues to evolve, many have questioned how a person could make up the level of detail fabricated by Te'o's fictional girlfriend. As it turns out, many of the details come from the life of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man who is behind the hoax, according to reports.
According to a report in the USA Today, at least three of the storylines from the hoax came directly from real life events in Tuiasosopo's life. The most prominent story behind Te'o's girlfriend was her diagnosis and subsequent death from leukemia. While she didn't die, Tuiasosopo's cousin, Jazmine Lutu, is currently battling leukemia. According to the report, Lutu was diagnosed with the disease in August. Te'o's fictional girlfriend Lennay Kekua died in September after being diagnosed with leukemia.
Another main element to Kekua's story was that her leukemia was only discovered after she was involved in a serious car accident. Lutu was not in a car accident, but Tuiasosopo was involved in a two-vehicle accident in late March, roughly a month before Kekua was said to have been in an accident.
Following the death of a relative, Tuiasosopo's father, Titus, posted a message on his Facebook page which said, "Give roses while you can smell them. Tell them you love them while they can hear you." According to the USA Today report, shortly after her death Te'o told his teammates that Kekua used to tell him the same message.
In an interview with ESPN on Friday, Te'o denied he was involved in creating the hoax.