By Donald MacFarland
LOS ANGELES - Film icon Clint Eastwood today told reporters he has spoken to Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o’s girlfriend following this week’s revelation she does not exist.
Deadspin.com this week broke the story that Lennay Kekua, who supposedly died of leukemia last year after nearly dying in a car accident, was a fabrication and the product of a hoax. Te’o and Notre Dame maintain Te’o is a victim.
Eastwood said he is a fan of Te’o and was compelled to intervene.
“I feel bad for the kid,” Eastwood said. “I wanted to talk to this lady and find out what the hell’s going on.”
Eastwood received attention during last year’s presidential election season when he had a conversation with a pretend Barack Obama. He answered and questioned the president, although the chair appeared empty.
Eastwood said the conversation with Kekua was similar, except no audience was present.
“I asked her why she’s not real and who the hell made her up,” Eastwood said. “She didn’t seem to know, so I grilled her about healthcare reform just to throw her off a little.”
Eastwood also asked Kekua if Te’o was involved in the hoax or purely a victim.
“She said Manti is a wonderful man, even though he wouldn’t visit her after a drunk driver nearly killed her, while she was in a coma, while she was in the hospital with leukemia, after she died or when she returned from the dead,” Eastwood recounted. “She still believes he’s an honest, standup guy, and she doesn’t think he’s involved in making her up.”
Eastwood said he asked Kekua on a date, but she refused, adding she hopes she can rekindle the nonexistent romance with Te’o.
“Hell, I wasn’t really wanting to date her, even though she’s generically beautiful,” Eastwood said. “I was trying to trick her, trying to find out if she really cared for Manti. Turns out, she does.”