Man Reportedly Confessed Manti Te'o Girlfriend Hoax to Friend
South Bend, IN
The man who has been publicly identified to be behind the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax admitted to a friend in early December that he duped the Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman finalist.
The friend, who requested anonymity for her family's safety but allowed her voice to be recorded, told "Outside the Lines" that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo gave her a tearful confession of how he played on the unsuspecting Te'o.
Tuiasosopo also admitted that it was not the first time he had done it.
"He (Ronaiah) told me that Manti was not involved at all, he was a victim. ... The girlfriend was a lie, the accident was a lie, the leukemia was a lie," said the woman. "He was crying, he was literally crying".
"It's not only Manti, but he was telling me that it's a lot of other people they had done this to," she added.
The woman also said that Tuiasosopo admitted to having his female cousin speak to Te'o over the phone.
Tuiasosopo's friend advised him to come forward and take responsibility for his actions.
"I (still) am worried for him (Ronaiah), not just him and his family but I know that you can't judge people like that and that's why I continue to just encourage (him) to come out and tell the truth," she said.
Earlier, Deadspin.com reported that it could find no existing record of Lennay Kekua, Te'o's supposed girlfriend who apparently died of leukemia.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a news conference Wednesday said that Te'o had been the victim of what appeared to be a hoax.
According to Swarbick, someone using a fictitious name "apparently ingratiated herself" with Te'o then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had died of leukemia.
Swarbrick added that the relationship took place online and over the phone. Te'o had described staying on the phone with whom he thought was Kekua for hours each night over many months.
Te'o has been meeting with family members and a team of advisers to determine the best way to address the controversy.
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