Manti Te’o has broken his silence on the fake girlfriend hoax in a new interview with ESPN, claiming he is a victim and revealing that the true culprit has since apologized for reeling Manti into a ‘Catfish’ type scenario.
In a new audio interview with ESPN, Manti Te’o admits that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo tweeted him a confession two days ago, taking full responsibility for the fake girlfriend hoax. The Voice contestant admitted to tricking the football player into thinking he was dating a girl, Lennay Kekua, online, who suddenly died of leukemia in September 2012. Manti says, “I wasn’t faking it. I wasn’t part of this.”
“Two guys and a girl are responsible for the whole thing,” Manti said in the interview, but he does not know the identity of the second guy or girl. Manti was unaware this was all a hoax until Ronaiah admitted everything on Jan. 16.
“I knew that — I even knew that it was crazy that I was with somebody that I didn’t meet, and that alone people find out that this girl, who died, I was so invested in, and I didn’t meet her as well, so I kind of tailored my stories to have people think that, yeah, he met her before she passed away so people wouldn’t think I was some crazy dude.”
Just like the hit MTV series Catfish, Manti attempted several times to Skype with Lennay or meet her in person, but obstacles always stood in the way. Whenever they’d Skype, Manti was faced with a “black box” — she couldn’t be seen. And when he tried to meet her several times in Hawaii and LA, she’d cancel on him.
Things Got Serious After Lennay’s Car Accident
Things got more serious when Lennay was involved in a fake car accident. While she “was in the hospital,” Manti could only hear her breathing over the phone. He said, “I slept on the phone with her every night. The only thing that could help her sleep was if I was on the phone.”
So why didn’t he visit her in the hospital? “It never really crossed my mind. I don’t know. I was in school,” Manti said.
Lennay survived the car accident, but “died of Leukemia” thereafter.
Why Manti Didn’t Go To Lennay’s Funeral
“Her mom told them [Lennay's family] they did not want me to come,” he said, adding, “I didn’t want that to be the first time that I saw her was laying in a coffin.”
Three months after Lennay supposedly died, Manti received a phone call on Dec. 6. “Manti, it’s me,” the caller said. That’s when Manti knew he had been duped.
Manti Forgives Ronaiah Tuiasosopo
“I don’t wish an ill thing to somebody. I just hope he learns. I think embarrassment is big enough.”
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Is Manti innocent?
— Chris Rogers
More On Manti Te’o’s ‘Catfish’-Like Girlfriend Hoax:
- Manti Te’o Girlfriend Hoax Mastermind Used Fake Story For ‘The Voice’?
- Manti Te’o’s Girlfriend Is Alive — Lennay Kekua’s Identity Revealed
- Manti Te’o’s Fake Dead Girlfriend Is Real, Claims Arizona Cardinals Player