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Tuiasosopo professes love for Te'o

The SportsXchange

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man behind the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax, told Dr. Phil McGraw in an interview that he was in love with the former Notre Dame linebacker but that Te'o had no part in the scheme.

McGraw spoke with Tuiasosopo for a two-part interview that will air Thursday and Friday on his syndicated television show, Dr. Phil.

Previewing the interview on NBC's Today show, McGraw said he asked Tuiasosopo about his relationship with Te'o. Tuiasosopo told him he fell romantically in love with Te'o.

"I then said, are you then, therefore, gay?" McGraw told Today. "He says, 'Well, when you put it that way, yes.' And then, he caught himself and said, 'I am confused.'"

Tuiasosopo revealed that he knew the hoax he started more than two years ago eventually would be exposed and that there would be ramifications for himself and Te'o, a runner-up in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting.

"I wanted to end it because after everything I had gone through," Tuiasosopo said, "I finally realized that I just had to move on with my life and had to get me, Ronaiah... I had to start just living and let this go."

He also claimed to be the voice of Kennay Kekua, the girlfriend Te'o thought he had developed a relationship with over many months. A cousin told the New York Post last week that another cousin acted as Kekua during phone conversations.

"Ronaiah had a number of life experiences that damaged this young man in some very serious ways," McGraw told Today.

The hoax was revealed in December. Te'o has insisted that he had no knowledge of the scam or played a role in it.

"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, in this case in my life," Tuiasosopo told McGraw.
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