Tuiasosopo Says Te’o Not Involved in Hoax
In an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw that will air Thursday, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo says the voice of Manti Te'o's "girlfriend," Lennay Kekua, was his and that the star Notre Dame linebacker had no role in the hoax.
"Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love. I asked him straight up, 'Was this a romantic relationship with you?' And he says yes. I said, 'Are you then therefore gay?' And he said, 'When you put it that way, yes.' And then he caught himself and said 'I am confused.'
”-- Dr. Phil McGraw, on Ronaiah Tuiasosopo
The first of McGraw's two-part interview with Tuiasosopo will air Thursday on the "Dr. Phil" show. McGraw appeared Wednesday morning on NBC's "Today" show, which aired two clips of the Tuiasosopo interview.
"There were many times when Manti and Lennay have broken up," Tuiasosopo said, "but something would bring them back together, whether it was something going on in his life or Lennay's life or in this case my life."
McGraw said Tuiasosopo told him he fell deeply in love with Te'o and that for Tuiasosopo it was a romantic relationship.
"Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love," McGraw told NBC. "I asked him straight up, 'Was this a romantic relationship with you?' And he says yes. I said, 'Are you then therefore gay?' And he said, 'When you put it that way, yes.' And then he caught himself and said 'I am confused.' "
McGraw told NBC that Te'o "absolutely, unequivocally" wasn't involved in the hoax.
One theory for the hoax is that Te'o was trying to cover up a homosexual relationship. In her TV interview with Te'o last week, Katie Couric asked him if he was gay.
"No, far from it," he said. "Faaaaarrrr from it."
Tuiasosopo told McGraw that as Te'o became more famous he knew that the online hoax he started more than two years ago was going to blow up.
Tuiasosopo said: "I wanted to end it because after everything I had gone through I finally realized that I just had to move on with my life and had to get ... you know, my real me, Ronaiah ... I just had to start living and let this go."
McGraw said he spent time with Tuiasosopo and his parents.
"Ronaiah had a number of life experiences that damaged this young man in some very serious ways," he said.
Story courtesy of ESPN.com
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report