UPDATED: 2:34 p.m. See below for the tweet.
If it seems this story couldn’t be filled with any more confusion, think again: in the wake of Deadspin’s explosive article, someone has taken hold of the reins on @LennayKay, the supposed Twitter handle that the 22-year-old woman known as Lennay Kekua used to tweet at @MTeo_5, Manti Te’o’s verified Twitter account. And the person behind it supposedly has some information to share with the world — in the next 90 minutes.
But consider this: Deadspin reports that the Twitter handle of the person calling herself Kekua changed at least three times over the past year. When the two sent their first tweets to each other in late 2011, Kekua was tweeting under the account @lovalovaloveYOU. Their first exchange was supposedly on Oct. 10, 2011:
(Background: Te’o’s Girlfriend a Hoax?)
When one changes a Twitter handle, it’s released back into the wild to be claimed at will. And the succinctly-named site WhenDidYouJoinTwitter has shed light on when this account came to be:
Yesterday. Likely around the time that the story broke. And those two retweets from Te’o’s own account? Those could have been activated at any time. Twitter’s style of retweeting is to show the time that the original tweet was posted. And it doesn’t exactly fit with the ruse of a dead girlfriend, if the account went active only after she has passed away.
That’s not to say that the @LennayKay account never existed in the first place. According to Google’s cache, the person tweeting under that handle had notched up a high number of tweets before the handle was changed. While the tweets were private, the information displayed in the person’s Twitter biography was public and quite detailed. Te’o’s Twitter handle is even mentioned, lending credence to the fact that he was possibly duped by someone pretending to be Kekua.
And since the @LoveMSMK account is now pointing to an inactive page, it’s safe to assume the account has either been closed or redirected to yet another handle.
Many anxiously awaited the 12 noon PST deadline to see if the Manti mystery would be solved. But it turns out to have just been another prankster trying to perpetuate the confusion of the situation. At 11:31 a.m. Pacific time, the account revealed: