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Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist: 5 Things To Know Before You Watch The Netflix Documentary

Since debuting in 2021, Netflix's Untold series has featured a collection of engrossing documentaries breaking down the stories behind some of the biggest sports stories in recent years. Topics like the infamous 2004 NBA brawl known as “Malice at the Palace,” the ill-fated and crime-ridden United Hockey League, and the life and career of Caitlyn Jenner have all been dissected in great detail. And now the series turns its attention to one of the most confounding sports sagas in recent memory: former Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o and his hoax girlfriend story.

If you saw Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist on the Netflix Top 10 shortly after it debuted in August 2022 and want to know more, you have come to the right place because we’re about to break down a few things you should know about the documentary before giving it a spin. Let’s get this show on the road.

Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist Is The Story Of Notre Dame Star Manti Te’o And How He Was Catfished

In September 2012, just as his senior season was getting underway, Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman Trophy candidate Manti Te’o experienced not one but two great tragedies on the same day. First, his grandmother passed away. Only a few hours later, his longtime girlfriend, who he had never met in person, succumbed to leukemia. But there is just one thing: Te’o’s girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, didn’t exist. Instead, for the previous few years, Te’o had been catfished as part of an elaborate hoax that quickly got out of hand.

The Documentary Is Split Into Two 60-Minute Parts

Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist is split into two 60-minute parts that provide a great deal of insight into the years-long hoax as well as the victims and perpetrator at the center of the story. The first episode largely focuses on Te’o’s life, collegiate career, and the relationship that was eventually exposed in an earth-shattering 2013 Deadspin article. The second episode touches on the fallout experienced by Te’o and others involved.

Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist Is Rated TV-MA For Language

Like a lot of the recent Netflix true crime documentaries, Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist is rated TV-MA due to the strong language that is present throughout. If you language isn’t an issue for you, then you should have no trouble getting through the 2022 Netflix movie.

The Documentary Goes Into A Tremendous Amount Of Detail About The Person Who Orchestrated The Scheme

The documentary spends a large amount of time focusing on Manti Te’o and his story, but a near-equal amount is spent interviewing the person behind the fake account: Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who has since come out as a trans woman named Naya. The addition of Tuiasosopo’s story doesn’t lessen the blow so much as it adds another layer of context to this incredibly complicated situation.

Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist Provides A Thorough Deep-Dive Into The Fallout Of The Scandal

Like a lot of great sports documentaries, Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist provides a deep-dive into multiple facets of the Manti Te’o story. This includes dedicating a large portion of its runtime to focusing on the fallout of the scandal and how Te’o and Naya Tuiasosopo’s lives have changed over the course of the past decade.

Hopefully, this helps you get a better grasp on the excellent and detailed exploration of one of the strangest sports scandals of the 21st Century. But remember, you will need a Netflix subscription to see how the story unfolds or check out any of the other binge-worthy titles.

Stream Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist on Netflix. (opens in new tab)

Philip Sledge
Content Producer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.