Looks like Manti’ Te’o has some support when it comes to the Catfish hoax that has literally taken over his life!
Alexandra del Pilar, 21, said that her ex-boyfriend is a real stand up guy that would never try to pull off such a ridiculous hoax.
In an exclusive PEOPLE interview, del Pilar says that Te’o was a great boyfriend with a big heart who genuinely loved the girl he thought was Lennay Kekua.
“Lennay was often brought up in conversation,” Del Pilar, a junior at Notre Dame sister school St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind., who met Te’o in November and dated him until earlier this month, tells PEOPLE. “I wanted to know about her, and how they did the long distance. He definitely [loved her].”
But the big-hearted football star also showered his love on del Pilar. She told PEOPLE that he was equally devoted to her and regularly checked in on her before and after games and when he was on the road.
Del Pilar even says that she met his family.
“They did the [traditional Maori] Haka dance and his sisters performed the Hula and he made me try all the Hawaiian food. For me, family comes first, so when he did that, that really showed me his character. That’s what drew us together.”
But as far as Kekua, del Pilar said that he was just as surprised as she was when they found out she wasn’t real.
“I was sick to my stomach. I cried,” she says of when Te’o told her what had happened. “Nothing made sense. But since he didn’t understand it either, he told me everything he knew.”
”I just felt completely sorry for him,” she went on, “because he was being accused of things he had no idea about. People were quick to jump on who he is as a person – especially after all the praise they had given him for everything he did at Notre Dame.”
The couple has broken up since the scandal hit, citing long distance as a factor. But del Pilar insists that they’ve been supporting each other and that he is doing better.
Well how ’bout dem apples! Maybe this will put some of those conspiracy theories to rest, but the jury is definitely still out.
What do you think about del Pilar’s account?