Manti Te’o appeared on the Jan. 24 episode of ‘Katie,’ where he told Katie Couric that he was NOT involved in the dead girlfriend hoax and he’s not gay, as many have wondered.
Katie Couric’s interview with Manti Te’o on Jan. 24 seemed strange from the very start. Not only did Manti seem very uncomfortable throughout the hour-long interview, but his version of the truth behind the dead girlfriend hoax came across as more confusing than ever.
Manti, who didn’t appear to be the most comfortable during his sit-down with Katie, said he found out about the scam at the same time as everyone else. However, that confession seemed odd because he found out on Dec. 6, while the story broke on January 16.
Manti told Katie that he did not know Ronaniah Tuiasasopo, who is reportedly behind the “Lennay Kekua” hoax. Manti claims that he only knew him through Lennay.
“I wasn’t as forthcoming as I should have been but I didn’t lie. He never asked if I saw her in person,” Manti admitted. Of course, Katie asked if he was splitting hairs with that answer, but Manti maintained that he was not forthcoming during the original interview with ESPN.
“What I went through was real. The pain, the sorrow, that was all real. That’s something I can’t fix,” Manti added.
‘Are You Gay?’
Katie asked Manti what everyone else was thinking — “Why wouldn’t you want a real girlfriend?”
“She was Polynesian. She was a sophomore. I was a sophomore… There was a lot of comfort in being able to talk to someone who knows my standards and I know her standards,” Manti said.
Katie flat-out asked, “Are you gay?”
Manti answered, “No. Far from it. Far from it.” This answer got a laugh from the audience.
You May Be The Most Naive Person
Katie asked Manti why he wouldn’t go visit Lennay after he found out she was in a car accident. Manti claims that travel plans with Notre Dame prevented a visit. She then continued to ask why he would stay on the phone with her for hours and hours while she was sick with Leukemia, just listening to her breathing.
“That’s what my parents always told me, you should always be there for somebody who needs help,” he said.
“Either you’re the most naive person on the planet or this is the most incredible story,” Katie said. “It goes on and on.”
Katie played a tape of voice mail messages from Lennay that Manti provided. Referring to a recent report that Ronaniah was claiming to be the voice of Lennay, Manti said, “It didn’t sound like a man. It sounded like a woman. It’s incredible that he can make that noise.”
Manti’s Parents Defend Their ‘Scared’ Son
Katie appeared to get a bit tough with Manti when she asked why he continued to hide his story when Lennay called him on Dec. 6, claiming she was not dead. Katie appeared to insist that Manti must have known something was wrong.
He said, “I did not know.” She responded, “C’mon…. you knew something was amiss.”
Manti said, “You’re right.”
So Katie asked, “Why?”
“My whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Now I get a phone call on Dec 6. that she’s alive. What would you do?” Manti asked.
Manti’s parents, Brian and Ottilia, appeared on the show as well. Both parents cried. “He’s not a liar,” Brian said. “He’s a kid, trying to be a man. I love him.”
What Would Manti Say To Ronaniah?
“I would just say you hurt me,” Te’o said, making note of how hurt his parents were as well.
It’s “only in these times that you realize who is actually in your corner,” he added.
“You see who actually loves you,” he said. “You see who has always been there.” Manti then turned to his parents, and said, “and it starts with these two sitting next to me. Kids listen to mom and dad.”
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Is Manti innocent?
— Chris Rogers
More Manti Te’o hoax news:
- Manti Te’o To Come Clean To Katie Couric In First On-Camera Interview
- Manti Te’o Gives First Interview: I’m Innocent — Listen
- Manti Te’o Dated A Real Girl After ‘Death’ Of Hoax Girlfriend — Report