Manti Te'o Deactivates Twitter Account

Manti Te'o Notre Dame - P 2012
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Manti Te'o Notre Dame - P 2012

The catfished Notre Dame star is leaving social media to prepare for the NFL draft.

Internet hoax victim Manti Te'o has deactivated his Twitter account as he readies for the NFL draft. reports (via Gawker) that the Notre Dame linebacker removed his @MTeo_5 handle during Sunday's Super Bowl, citing a source as saying that Te'o will be absent from the social media site "for an indefinite period of time."

A star on the college footfall stage, Te'o became a household name last month when the sports blog Deadspin exposed the bizarre bombshell news that his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, did not exist. She was, it turned out, a fabrication of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who perpetuated the false identity during an online-and-phone relationship that transformed an unwitting Te'o into a true believer.

VIDEO: Manti Te'o Hoaxster Says Feelings for Linebacker Are 'Romantic'

Several months after Kekua "died" of cancer, Te'o received a phone call from the alleged Stanford student saying she was alive (and thereby dismantling the ruse). His remarks days later at the Heisman Trophy ceremony, where he was runner-up to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and acknowledged Kekua's death in a press conference, were met with raised eyebrows by Katie Couric during her Te'o interview last month.

“Part of me was saying, ‘If you say she’s alive, what would everybody think? What are you gonna tell everybody who follows you and who you’ve inspired? What are you gonna say?'" Te’o explained at the time. “As a 21-year-old, I wasn’t ready for that. I didn’t even tell my parents yet. I didn’t tell anybody. The only person who knew was me. I did not know who to turn to. … I was just scared, and I didn’t know what to do."