TV - Movies
Where Is Naya
Tuiasosopo From
Netflix's Untold:
The Girlfriend Who
Didn't Exist Now?
By PAULI POISUO
In 2013, football player Manti Te'o went from esteemed sports prodigy to the central figure in one of the year's biggest scandals. Netflix's "Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist" takes a deep dive into that very scandal, where Te’o got catfished by Naya Tuiasosopo, who created the fictional Lennay Kekua and posed as his girlfriend.
After the scandal broke, Tuiasosopo appeared on "Dr. Phil" to elaborate on the reasons behind catfishing Te’o, naming love and escapism as her primary motivations — but since then, she had kept a low profile. Producers of the Netflix documentary revealed that she had agreed to participate only because she wasn't happy with the way the story was told.
Tuiasosopo — a transgender woman — spoke of her difficulties after she was identified as Te'o's catfisher, and also reflected on how letting go of Lennay Kekua encouraged her to embrace her own identity. "I couldn't give Lennay any more of my time," Tuiasosopo said, "And I remember telling myself, 'you wanna be a girl, so be a girl'."