Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend makes Maxim's 'Hot 100'

"Manti Te´o´s Fake Girlfriend," as pictured on Maxim´s "Hot 100" list for 2013.
"Manti Te'o's Fake Girlfriend," as pictured on Maxim's "Hot 100" list for 2013.

Even before Maxim's morning announcement on NBC's Today -- yes, Miley Cyrus really is No. 1 on the annual "Hot 100" list, just ahead of Selena Gomez and Rihanna -- the magazine's website had divulged a sampling of rankings.

For example, Katy Perry is No. 11, Taylor Swift 13th and Beyonce 14th.

Names you'd expect to find, though one could always quibble about a ranking (or take issue with having such rankings at all).

But then we noticed at No. 69, the image not of a woman but a silhouette of a black bikini against a cloudy sky, with the "name" as "Manti Te'o's Fake Girlfriend."

No, it's not about the actual woman involved in the infamous hoaxing of the Notre Dame linebacker. Pictures of L.A. marketing exec Diane O'Meara were used by hoaxer Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a so-called friend of Te'o's who knew O'Meara from high school.

Maxim liked the idea of an imaginary darling, and we quote the entire blurb: "After Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend hoax of 2012, we think it might be nice to have an invisible girl of our own to love. Why not? She's got a ton of great qualities, including looking awesome in a bikini."

Probably because it might spoil the fun, Maxim fails to note that (a) the fake girl friend's voice was a guy on the other end of the phone, and (b) Te'o was led to believe she died.

We also wonder what the likes of "commercial and swimsuit model Nina Agda" (No. 70) might feel about being ranked lower than a disembodied bikini.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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