Timeline of Manti Te'o Girlfriend Hoax Story
The full timeline of events begins in 2008.
Jan. 21, 2013— -- This timeline of the Manti Te'o hoax appears to begin when Tessi Toluta'u, a Polynesian beauty queen, says she was contacted by "Lennay Kekua" in 2008 in what she now believes was a "catfish" scam.
Te'o, Notre Dame's star linebacker, began his online relationship with "Kekua" sometime in 2009. But he wasn't the first person to be contacted online by the fictitious woman.
A person named "Lennay Kekua" sends a Facebook message to Tessi Toluta'u, a Polynesian beauty queen, requesting advice on entering beauty pageants, Toluta'u told ABC News.
Middle of 2008: Toluta'u says she continued to exchange Facebook messages with Kekua. Toluta'u believes Kekua is embellishing her story, saying, "she" is a Stanford volleyball player who is dating then-USC quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Manti Te'o tells ESPN,
Kekua befriends Te'o on Facebook in the winter of his freshman year in Notre Dame, he tells ESPN. He messages her back saying, "I'm Manti." At this point they would begin an on-again, off-again relationship that would resume later with texts and phone calls
SEPT. 27, 2010
Te'o writes Toluta'u, a family friend, Facebook message asking about Kekua, writing, "She keeps talking like she knows everyone and I'm like thinking it's a prank," according to his Facebook messages.
Toluta'u responds on Facebook: "So many people are asking about her. Is she causing drama?"
APRIL 20, 2010
Somehow Te'o is convinced of her authenticity and he tells ESPN communications from this day on between himself and Kekua occur solely by phone.
During a charity trip organized by Polynesian athletes, Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Mauia meets a leggy beauty named "Lennay Kekua" in American Samoa doing charity work, Mauia tells ESPN.com.
"This was before her and Manti," he says. Mauia says they became good friends and they would check in on each other. She also described the loss of her father to him. Mauia says Kekua had "Volleyball type physique. She was athletic, tall, beautiful, with long hair. Polynesian. She looked like a model."
He says he was introduced by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
OCT. 1, 2011
Te'o tells ESPN that during his junior year he received a phone call from Kekua the day of the game against Purdue. He says Kekua told him that she was having hard times with her boyfriend and that she wanted Te'o to be there for her. Te'o says from this point on their relationship intensified. At some point during these initial interactions Te'o hears about Tuiasosopo in passing. Kekua says it was her cousin and that they were like "Bonnie and Clyde." But she didn't talk about him much.
MARCH 23, 2012
Facebook postings reveal Tuiasosopo was in a car accident with two other relatives, according to USA Today.
Te'o plans to fly to San Diego and later visit Kekua in Los Angeles where she says she took over her father's business called Clarke's Construction, the football player told ESPN.
APRIL 28, 2012
Te'o gets a call from Kekua's brother, Noa, saying she had been in a car accident and was hit by a drunk driver and that she was in a hospital in Los Angeles, he told ESPN.
Te'o's friend John Pepelnjak tells ESPN.com, "Back in late April or early May, I want to say within the first couple days following the supposed car crash, I can testify with 100 percent certainty that [Te'o] spoke on the phone with Kekua's brother and that he did not create this hoax."