Te'o, a made-up girlfriend, a national hoax

Mental Health Therapist weighs in on alleged social media hoax

Published On: Jan 17 2013 08:12:55 PM EST
Manti Te'o
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -


The story of  Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend, who had a fake death is just downright confusing. The  Notre Dame football star had been receiving sympathy for the loss of a girlfriend he met online, because apparently  Lennay Kekua  had passed away.   The only problem is Lennay Kekua apparently doesn't exist.  She didn't die and this is all some sort of odd and elaborate hoax.

 Whether  Te'o was in on the hoax or not is up for speculation and may be cleared up at a  Thursday news conference  next week. But as to why someone would think up a hoax like this is anyone's guess. Audrey  Dearborn,   a Mental Health Therapist  , said there must be an obvious need for attention.

 "Some of it might be notoriety. Get in newspaper and get media attention. Or it might be the hopes that something would come from this interaction. Monetary. It's hard to know what's in someone's mind when do something so bizarre ," said Dearborn.  

 Dearborn said prior to the news that  the story was a  hoax, whoever was behind it may have had the incentive they wanted in all the media coverage to keep it up.

 "The more extreme the more attention you crave. And when you get attention like that there is a mental illness there ," said Dearborn.  "I think with social networking we're removed from the person we're interacting with so we don't really think about the consequences as much as if I was to say directly to you. "