Manti Te'o admits to briefly lying about hoax girlfriend - FOX 13 News

Manti Te'o admits to briefly lying about hoax girlfriend

Posted: Updated:
Manti Te'o (AP photo) Manti Te'o (AP photo)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has told Katie Couric that he briefly lied about his online girlfriend after discovering she didn't exist, while maintaining that he had no part in creating the hoax.

Pressed by Couric to admit that he was in on the deception, Te'o said he believed that his girlfriend Lennay Kekua had died of cancer and didn't lie about it until December.

"Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12," Te'o said in an interview to air Thursday on Couric's syndicated talk show. A segment of the interview with Te'o and his parents was broadcast Wednesday on "Good Morning America."

The Heisman Trophy runner-up said he only learned of the hoax when he received a phone call in December from a woman saying she was Kekua.

"Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she's alive and then I'm going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?" Te'o said.

An Associated Press review of news coverage found that the Heisman Trophy runner-up talked about his doomed love in a Web interview on Dec. 8 and again in a newspaper interview published Dec. 10.

Te'o's father defended his son when Couric pointed out that many people don't believe the Irish star, suspecting he used the situation for personal gain.

"People can speculate about what they think he is. I've known him 21 years of his life. And he's not a liar. He's a kid," Brian Te'o said with tears in his eyes.

On Tuesday, the woman whose photo was used as the "face" of the Twitter account of Te'o's supposed girlfriend says the man allegedly behind the hoax confessed and apologized to her.

Diane O'Meara told NBC's "Today" show that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo used pictures of her without her knowledge in creating a fake woman called Lennay Kekua.

  • Sports NewsSports NewsMore>>

  • Simpson, McNamara win NYRR 5th Avenue Mile

    Simpson, McNamara win NYRR 5th Avenue Mile

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:17 PM EDT2014-09-17 01:17:10 GMT
    Track star Jenny Simpson capped her standout season with another victory at the New York Road Runners 5th Avenue Mile on Sept. 13, 2014. This was Simpson's second win in a row at the race and her third overall. Oregon Track Club Elite runner Jordan McNamara won the pro men's race.
    Track star Jenny Simpson capped her standout season with another victory at the New York Road Runners 5th Avenue Mile on Sept. 13, 2014. This was Simpson's second win in a row at the race and her third overall. Oregon Track Club Elite runner Jordan McNamara won the pro men's race.
  • NY grand jury to weigh charges for Tony Stewart

    NY grand jury to weigh charges for Tony Stewart

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:43 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:43:05 GMT
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by county sheriff's investigators.
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by county sheriff's investigators.
  • Facing child abuse charges, Adrian Peterson absent from Sunday game

    Facing child abuse charges, Adrian Peterson absent from Sunday game

    Sunday, September 14 2014 9:43 PM EDT2014-09-15 01:43:12 GMT
    Star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Texas on a charge of child abuse after using a branch to spank his son, and was swiftly benched by the team on Friday for this weekend's game against New England.
    Star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Texas on a charge of child abuse after using a branch to spank his son, and was swiftly benched by the team on Friday for this weekend's game against New England. 
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices