Manti Te'o Credits JAY-Z For Inspiring Him To Open Up About Catfish Drama

By Tony M. Centeno

August 16, 2022

Manti Te'o and JAY-Z
Photo: Getty Images

It's been a decade since Manti Te'o lost both his grandmother and his "girlfriend" just hours apart. Although his grandmother really did pass away, his ex's death ended up being a hoax. Now he says JAY-Z is part of the reason why he went public with his story.

In an interview CBS Mornings aired on Tuesday, August 16, Te'o revealed what inspired him to go public with his embarrassing story about being catfished by someone pretending to be a student at Stanford named "Lennay Kekua." The former Notre Dame linebacker admitted that he was inspired to speak out after he attended a JAY-Z concert with his former teammates in 2017.

"Cam Jordan with the Saints took a bunch of us teammates to a JAY-Z concert," Te'o said. "And at that concert, JAY-Z opens up with saying these words, 'you cannot heal what you don't reveal.' And it may have been just some random words to everybody, but for me, at that time, it hit me like a ton of bricks. In order for me to kind of heal from this, I needed to reveal it."

The only tour Hov went on in 2017 was for his 4:44 album, which allowed him to open up about drama he experienced with his wife Beyoncé. Te'o spoke on the wise words Hov used to open his show with while promoting his Netflix documentary Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist. The doc, which allows Te'o to tell his side of the story, is available now.

Catch the trailer for the documentary below.

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