Manti Te’o seems to quickly be moving on and already has a new romance, just days after news of his fake dead girlfriend made headlines, the New York Post is reporting.
Friends close to the couple say that the Notre Dame football star has been dating Alexandra del Pilar, who attends Notre Dame sister school St. Mary’s college.
New photos of the two sitting on Santa’s lap have surfaced, according to entertainment gossip site TMZ.
Late last year, the national media had written about Te'o alleged girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who died from Leukemia around the same time his grandmother also died of cancer. Weeks later, the story exploded after it was revealed Kekua did not exist. Te'o insists he was a victim of a hoax.
According to the New York Post, while Te’o was supposedly grieving over Kekua, he was actually spending time with Del Pilar, 21, whose father happens to be a cancer specialist.
“When he was going through all the trouble with his grandma in September, that’s when he started talking with Alex,” a source told the tabloid.
Meanwhile, while Kekua had supposedly died back in September, Del Pilar was tweeting away on her social media account about her blossoming relationship with the linebacker.
“Just making sure Manti gets home for the game tomorrow!” Del Pilar tweeted on Oct. 26.
The tweet also included a photo of Te’o in the passenger seat of Del Pilar’s car.
On Nov. 15, the football player tweeted “Always and forever.” Del Pilar retweet his cryptic message.
Te’o claims he did not realize Kekua did not exist until Dec. 6 -- even though he had been exchanging tweets with Del Pilar. Still, he claims he got a call from Kekua that same day and that she allegedly said she had to fake her passing because of issues with drug dealers who were attempting to kidnap her.
“He was shocked, and he didn’t believe her. That’s when he told the school and his family,” one of Te’o pal told the Post.
Two days later, Del Pilar took to Twitter quote Mark Twain, apparently in reference to the ensuing scandal.
“A lie can travel halfway around the world, while the truth is still putting on its shoes’ - Mark Twain.”
Te’o told ESPN on Sunday, in his first interview, that he was not behind the hoax.
“I wasn’t faking it. I wasn’t part of this,” Te’o said. “When (people) hear the facts, they’ll know. They’ll know that there is no way that I could be part of this.”