Man At Center of Manti Te'o Hoax Sued Over Car Accident
LOS ANGELES (CN) - The man who allegedly fooled San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o into believing he was the player's long-distance girlfriend has been sued over a 2012 car accident.
Early this year, after Manti Te'o had put in a string of strong performances for the University of Notre Dame, the Hawaii native told reporters that he had continued to play for the Fighting Irish even after he learned that his grandmother and girlfriend had passed away on the same day, Sept. 11, 2012.
Te'o had said that the girl, Lennay Kekua, died of leukemia. It later emerged, however, that Te'o had never met Kekua in person, and that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo had created an online identity to impersonate a woman and reel the linebacker in - reportedly because he was secretly in love with player.
Now, Tuiasosopo faces a claim that his negligence caused a March 2012 car collision in Lancaster, Calif., and left a man with brain damage. His name is misspelled as Ronoaiah throughout the document.
Tuiasosopo was working for Oasis Christian Church when his car collided with another vehicle on an off-ramp close to State Route 14, according to the complaint in Superior Court.
Sekuini Sekuini says that Tuiasosopo and the other driver, co-defendant Aldo Gonzalez, failed to "reduce speed in a construction zone," and says the injuries he sustained in the accident left him with brain damage.
Us Weekly reported earlier this year that Tuiasosopo mentioned a car accident while auditioning for the singing talent show, "The Voice."
According to an unidentified source, Tuiasosopo told producers that he was involved in the collision while traveling to a youth event to perform in a Christian band with his cousins.
Tuiasosopo supposedly told producers that a truck had hit his car and turned his car over, but that he and his cousins escaped unscathed - though a doctor initially thought one of them might have brain damage, according to the Us Weekly story. Sekuini seeks unspecified damages and costs. Named defendants are Tuiasosopo, and Cheannie Tuiasosopo, the owner of the car Tuiasosopo was driving. Gonzalez, Ecology Auto Parts and Oasis Christian Church are also parties.
He is represented by Michael Alder.