Manti Te’o has finally admitted that lied and that he knew his girlfriend was fake. The hoax gained much attention throughout the last week, but Te’o has denied that he had any knowledge that the woman was fake.
The hoax reportedly began in 2009 when Te’o met someone calling themselves “Lennay Kekua” online. The relation continued over the internet for several years. In April of 2012, Te’o was informed that his “girlfriend” had been involved in a serious accident and was hospitalized.
As reported by ABC News, Te’o was informed in September of 2012 that his “girlfriend” had passed away from leukemia. The story made national headlines as Te’o's very real grandmother passed away on the same day.
It was later revealed that the entire “relationship” was a hoax dreamed up by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. The pictures of “Kekua” were taken from some other woman’s Facebook page. Lennay Kekua simply did not exist.
Manti Te’o has publicly denied that he had any knowledge that Kekua was fake. Although friends of Te’o have suggested that he knew, he insisted that he had been tricked by the cruel prankster. Te’o maintained that he was devastated and was as shocked as everyone else when he found out.
In an interview with Kati Couric, which will air tomorrow, Te’o admits that he lied to the media and his friends. Te’o knew the girlfriend was fake as far back as the beginning of December.
As reported by ABC News GMA, Te’o reluctantly admitted that he had lied about his knowledge of the hoax. After Katie suggested to Te’o that he had “stuck to the script” and that Te’o “knew that something was amiss,” Te’o replied:
“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.
“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?”
Tuiasosopo reportedly contacted Te’o through Twitter and apologized for making up the fake girlfriend. Although Te’o has admitted that he lied and that he knew the girlfriend was fake, at some point in time he was fooled into believing she was real. Te’o insists that, until early December last year, he truly thought that he was in a relationship with Kekua.
The interview will air on Good Morning America tomorrow.