Manti Te’o finally speaks on ‘fake’ dead girlfriend saga
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o addressed the “hoax” involving his relationship with a non-existent deceased girlfriend Friday night in an interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap.
Te’o denied having involvement in the hoax and placed much of the blame on Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Te’o said that Tuiasosopo admitted to him that he was behind the hoax.
“I wasn’t faking it,” Te’o told Schaap. “I wasn’t part of this.
“Two guys and a girl are responsible for the whole thing,” Te’o said. “According to Ronaiah, Ronaiah’s one.”
In the interview, Te’o said that the first time he met Tuiasosopo was
after Notre Dame’s win over USC in Los Angeles this past fall. ESPN
reported Friday that in early December Tuiasosopo called a friend in
tears and said he was fooling Te’o.
“When (people) hear the facts, they’ll know,” Te’o said. “They’ll know that there is no way that I could be part of this.”
ESPN and Schaap had reportedly been rebuffed for an interview in the days prior. Speaking on the 2 a.m. EDT SportsCenter, Schaap said that Te’o was firm in his responses.
“I don’t know how many questions were asked, but (Te’o) answered all of
them really unflinchingly,” Schaap said. “If he’s
making up his side of the story, he’s a very convincing actor.”