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Friend claims Ronaiah Tuiasosopo confessed to duping Manti Te’o

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

A friend of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo claims Tuiasosopo confessed to being the mastermind behind a hoax involving former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and his fake/deceased girlfriend Lennay Kekua.

A woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ESPN Tuiasosopo was emotional and guilt-stricken. She also said he admitted to pulling the same hoax on multiple people.

ESPN played the voice of Tuiasosopo's friend on the air, who claimed that she had talked to Tuiasosopo.

"He [Ronaiah] told me that Manti was not involved at all, he was a victim. ... The girlfriend was a lie, the accident was a lie, the leukemia was a lie," the woman told ESPN. "He was crying, he was literally crying, he's like 'I know, I know what I have to do.'

"It's not only Manti, but he was telling me that it's a lot of other people they had done this to."

Tuiasosopo has become the central figure of a bizarre story that started in 2009 when Te’o met Kekua online. The two began dating in 2011, though Te’o admitted Wednesday that it was an online relationship and that the two had never actually met, despite earlier quotes to the contrary.

The woman said she did not want to be identified for fear of what might happen to her and her family, which makes the credibility of this confession a little suspect.

The ESPN piece also mentions others who were duped by Tuiasosopo in 2008. But instead of contacting Notre Dame to tell them of the hoax – the same hoax they apparently endured - the “victims” took to twitter and made fun of Te’o and then attempted to peddle the story to the MTV television show Catfish.

Tuiasosopo’s friend, whom he confided in and she is peddling to ESPN, said she now fears Tuiasosopo might do something crazy out of guilt.

So what? We’re supposed to have some sort of sympathy for this guy?

Bottom line is whoever was involved in this hoax spent three years cultivating it and three months watching Te’o wax poetic about it on national television. Now, all of a sudden, everyone feels guilty and wants to come clean?

That’s as hard to believe as the entire story itself.

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