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Dr. Saturday

Manti Te’o tells Katie Couric he lied about girlfriend in December after learning of hoax

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

To this point, the worst thing Manti Te'o has admitted to in the Lennay Kekua hoax is briefly continuing to lie about it after he found out the woman he thought was Kekua was still alive on Dec. 6.

In an interview with Katie Couric for her syndicated talk show, parts of which were broadcast Wednesday on "Good Morning America," the Notre Dame linebacker says he continued to perpetuate the myth after finding out the truth - that his girlfriend who he thought died in September, and everyone now knows was fake the entire time, wasn't dead after all - because he didn't know what else to do.

"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, according to the Associated Press.

"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?"

[Related: Manti Te'o denies involvement in hoax]

Te'o was a Heisman finalist, and the ceremony was Dec. 8. AP said that Te'o discussed Kekua in media interviews on Dec. 8 and Dec. 10.

Despite little evidence to the contrary, many still believe that Te'o was a larger part of the hoax than he is letting on. The AP said Couric asked Te'o's father Brian about that, and Te'o's father "had tears in his eyes" as he answered.

"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.

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