Manti Te'o admits to briefly lying about hoax girlfriend - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

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>>

  • Jets eliminating paper season tickets

    Jets eliminating paper season tickets

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:04:58 GMT
    The New York Jets are doing away with paper tickets for season ticket holders, while offering those fans a rewards plan for showing up regularly and behaving properly.
    The New York Jets are doing away with paper tickets for season ticket holders, while offering those fans a rewards plan for showing up regularly and behaving properly.
  • Major League Baseball

    How Mets and Yankees can improve or contend in 2014

    How Mets and Yankees can improve or contend in 2014

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:55 PM EDT2014-07-22 01:55:20 GMT
    With the All-Star break over and the second half of the MLB season well underway, the New York Mets (46-52 as of July 20) and the New York Yankees (50-47 as of July 20) find themselves in the same situations each team is accustomed to at this time of the season. The Yankees are in the middle of the AL East Division title while the Mets are scrapping for every win possible to stay relevant in the NL East. But while the record says one thing, reality says another.
    With the All-Star break over and the second half of the MLB season well underway, the New York Mets (46-52 as of July 20) and the New York Yankees (50-47 as of July 20) find themselves in the same situations each team is accustomed to at this time of the season. The Yankees are in the middle of the AL East Division title while the Mets are scrapping for every win possible to stay relevant in the NL East. But while the record says one thing, reality says another.
  • Learning to sail in New York City

    Learning to sail in New York City

    Friday, July 18 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-07-18 20:00:53 GMT
    Fox 5's Dari Alexander had always wanted to take a sailing lesson but didn't know you can do that right in Manhattan. She went to Manhattan Sailing School, based in North Cove. She learned the basics: hoisting, tacking, jibing, and boat safety.
    Fox 5's Dari Alexander had always wanted to take a sailing lesson but didn't know you can do that right in Manhattan. She went to Manhattan Sailing School, based in North Cove. She learned the basics: hoisting, tacking, jibing, and boat safety.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

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