WBBM Anchor’s Manti Te’o Interview in the Spotlight After Girlfriend Hoax Revealed

By Merrill Knox 

After an extensively-reported Deadspin article revealed that Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend never existed, a November interview the Notre Dame football star did with WBBM anchor and Notre Dame alumnus Kate Sullivan has made its way into the national spotlight.

Te’o talked extensively about his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, in an interview that was conducted by Notre Dame and featured on the university’s website. Te’o recounted sleeping on the phone with her as she was in the hospital and told Sullivan that Kekua had written him a letter for every game before she died (video above, beginning at the 2:40 mark).


“In every letter, she said ‘be humble, be gracious and always remember that I love you,'” Te’o said.

Despite the fact that the interview never aired on WBBM, CBS’ Chicago O&O, soundbites from Sullivan’s interview were used in a report from CBS News correspondent Chip Reid on “CBS This Morning” that ran on the day of the BCS Championship game, which Notre Dame lost to Alabama 42-14.

Reid’s “CBS This Morning” report was mentioned — one of many national reports about the non-existent Kekua — in the Deadspin report that exposed the hoax.

In a statement yesterday, Te’o said that he, too, is a victim to the hoax. ESPN and NBC News — among others — are currently pursuing an interview with Te’o.