Netflix’s ‘Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist’ is the story of catfishing that turned around the career trajectory of a promising player. Manti Te’o was a dedicated and religious young prodigy in the game of football. It seemed like all the stars had aligned for him when he went on a streak of wins that established him as one of the most promising players of his time. While his skills on the field had already garnered him a lot of fans, he invoked deep admiration from everyone when it was revealed that he had suffered the loss of his girlfriend, whom he called the love of his life.
Despite this tragedy, he continued to give his best in the game, as the pictures of his girlfriend were displayed on every media outlet, talking about Te’o’s tragic but inspiring story. It wasn’t until much later that it was revealed that Te’o’s dead girlfriend never existed, and the photo was really that of a woman named Diane O’Meara, who’d been blissfully unaware of the misuse of her pictures by an old schoolmate she barely knew. After having seen the documentary, if you’re wondering what happened to Diane O’Meara, here’s what you should know.
Where is Diane O’Meara Today?
A native of Torrance, California, Diane O’Meara is a graduate of California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She’d been working as a marketing executive in Los Angeles when she discovered that her high school batchmate Naya Tuiasosopo had used her photos to catfish football star Manti Te’o. While she appeared for a few interviews in 2013 to clarify her stance on the matter, O’Meara has since refrained from any media appearances. It also seems like she has kept her distance from social media following the identity theft by Naya Tuiasosopo.
In an interview with CNN, Diane O’Meara said: “I was doing everything to protect myself. My Facebook was private. I was very careful about going through each and every timeline post and changing all the settings, making sure I knew what post was there and who was seeing it. But clearly, that’s not enough nowadays.” It was also a “very bizarre, twisted and confusing scenario” for her because she’d never met Te’o, and yet here were her photos all over national media outlets, claiming that she was his dead girlfriend.
While processing her own situation, O’Meara also felt terrible for Te’o, whose career met a huge bump after this controversy was set loose. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around this entire confusing situation myself. If Manti is really innocent in this entire situation, I empathize with him because I assume we would have the same emotions – frustration, anger, confusion,’’ she said. It was also particularly frustrating for O’Meara to be caught up in this scandal because she worried that it might impact her personal relationships. “It’s difficult and it’s definitely very shocking. I have a serious committed relationship, and to hear that you’re the face of a separate relationship, it’s hard to see,” she said.
It is understandable why O’Meara now chooses to completely cut off from social media because, as she said, it’s a “scary thing that we keep hearing about these cases of identity theft and no one’s doing anything about it. We just keep going along, hoping it doesn’t happen [to someone we know], and it’s very unsatisfactory that we have no protection against [this].” With this debacle in the past and the upheaval she had to go through in the aftermath of the revelation, we hope O’Meara’s life has reverted to its normalcy without any lasting impact on her personal and professional life.