Former NFL star Manti Te'o is in the news after a documentary on his famous girlfriend hoax was released earlier this week. Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist, a Netflix documentary, uncovers the accounts of the former New Orleans Saints star and his known associates during the much-reported scandal.
The linebacker became the center of a media storm in 2013 after his girlfriend Lennay Kekua, who reportedly died of leukemia, turned out to be non-existent. Nearly a decade after the incident, the former Notre Dame star opened up on the entire saga in the Netflix production.
The 31-year-old was a contender for the Heisman Trophy during college and played for the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints in the years that followed. Manti Te'o was last contracted to the Chicago Bears in 2020 and was placed on their practice squad. His contract expired in January 2021, and he has been a free agent ever since.
As per Celebrity Net Worth, Manti Te'o is worth approximately around $3.5 million. Much of it is down to his career in the NFL, where he had six good seasons before hitting free agency.
Manti Te'o was selected 38th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 2013 NFL draft and did particularly well for the franchise before injuries halted his progress. He had signed an initial four-year deal worth $5 million. The contract included over $3 million in guaranteed money and a signing bonus of about $2 million.
The linebacker was then traded to the New Orleans Saints, where he signed a two-year contract. Per Spotrac, he earned a total of $10.42 million in salary in the NFL.
Manti Te'o was embroiled in controversy even before playing in the NFL
Te'o made headlines before playing in the NFL after Deadspin reported that it could find no record of his then-girlfriend Lennay Kekua existing in January 2013. It was later revealed that the former Notre Dame star was catfished with a fake profile created by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
Tuiasosopo is a biological male who created a fake persona to cope with gender dysphoria. He later faked Kekua's death to end the relationship with Te'o, who never got to meet his online girlfriend.
Fortunately, Manti Te'o has moved on from the hoax. The 31-year-old is now married to fitness enthusiast Jovi Nicole. The couple tied the knot in 2020 and welcomed a daughter named Hiromi last summer.