Football player Manti Te'o marries girlfriend, years after catfishing hoax

The linebacker shared photos from his recent wedding, which came several years after he was caught up in a catfishing hoax involving a fake girlfriend.
/ Source: TODAY

Manti Te'o has found real love.

The NFL linebacker, who was once at the center of a catfishing hoax involving a fake girlfriend, announced on Instagram earlier this week that he got married to girlfriend Jovi Nicole Engbino.

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The former Notre Dame star shared photos of the happy couple from their small ceremony on Aug. 29 on the beach in La Jolla, California.

"I couldn’t give you the world but I think I did better...I gave you my last name and it looks good on you Mrs. Te’o," he wrote.

Engbino also shared photos on Instagram from the big day.

"Yesterday I got to marry my best friend and the love of my life in an intimate beach ceremony," she wrote. "Although this was not how we envisioned our ceremony, it was perfect. We will be having our reception and celebration when Temples and venues open back up so we can share this special occasion with our families and I couldn’t be more excited."

Te'o, 29, endured national embarrassment following a 2013 Deadspin report that determined his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who supposedly died of leukemia, turned out to be a fake who never existed.

He told ESPN that he was a victim of an elaborate hoax and was not involved in any way. He said he never met Kekua face to face, saying he only spoke to her online and over the phone. Kekua's alleged death had become a storyline after he told reporters about it leading up to the BCS championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama.

One of the hoaxers, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, went on "The Dr. Phil Show" and did an impersonation of a female voice that he said he used to pose as Kekua.

Following his wedding announcement, Te'o also posted a video with a message of gratitude.

"I just wanted to thank everybody for the love and for the support this past weekend that you guys all showed me and my wife," he said. "It was a nice day, it was a special day for me and my wife. It was a day that I knew that I had to share with the world and it's a scary thing to share with the world because of the condition that the world is in."

"If there's anything that I've learned over the past couple years is I really appreciate genuine love and support because I got my dose of haters and all of that stuff, or whatever you want to call them," he continued. "It is what it is, but I really appreciate it, guys."