Ronaiah Tuiasosopo duped Te'o into an online relationship with “Lennay Kekua,” a fictional woman whom Te'o believed had died of leukemia last fall. Mr. Tuiasosopo contacted Te’o Jan. 16 and confessed to the hoax.
“I wanted to end it because after everything I had gone through, I finally realized that I just had to move on with my life. I had to start just living and let this go,” Mr. Tuiasosopo said during the segment. “There were many times where Manti and Lennay had broken up, but something would bring them back together, whether it was something going on in his life or in Lennay’s life or, in this case, my life.”
Te'o said he thought of Kekua as his girlfriend, though the two had only talked on the phone and exchanged texts and emails. After Kekua’s “death” on the same day as the death of his grandmother, the sob story made national news.
But shortly after it came to light that Kekua was never real. People began pointing the finger at the All-American linebacker, saying he made it up for attention, but it was soon revealed that he, along with the rest of America, was tricked and Mr. Tuiasosopo was behind the whole thing.
The two-part interview will air Thursday and Friday on the “Dr. Phil Show.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Jessica Chasmar is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
A carefully guided tour through the confusing world of modern bookselling and publishing.
In a world that is increasingly complex, we need to seek greater awareness of the blending of cultures and America's changing role in a global community.
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention