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Manti Te'o to Katie Couric: 'I did not know who to trust'

Manti Te'o is seen on 'Katie' on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013.
January 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
In his first on-camera exclusive interview Thursday, Katie Couric told Manti Te'o he's either the most na?ve person on the planet, or this is the saddest story ever written.

On Thursday night, the attorney for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man believed to be responsible for creating the fake girlfriend profile, is speaking out. Tuiasosopo's attorney told the New York Daily News that Tuiasosopo himself played the role of Lennay Kekua on the phone.

For the first time, the public got to hear that voice. The voicemails Te'o received from the person he thought was his girlfriend were played on "Katie."

"I just want to say I love you and goodnight and I'll be OK tonight. I'll do my best," the person says. "Get your rest, and I'll talk to you tomorrow. I love you so much hun. Sweet dreams."

"It didn't sound like a man. It sounded like a woman," Te'o told Couric.

Te'o told Couric that Facebook is where a woman he thought was Lennay Kekua first contacted him. He only saw her picture and never met her. Te'o says he told his father he met Kekua. He told Couric that he regretted lying to his father.

Couric confronted Te'o about one of the theories surrounding the bizarre story: That Te'o created the whole scenario to cover up his sexual orientation. She asked him point-blank, "Are you gay?"

"No, far from it, far from it," he said with a laugh.

Te'o was told his girlfriend died on Sept. 12, but then he got a call on Dec. 6 from a woman claiming to be her. Still, days later, he kept the story going.

"I did not know who to turn to, I did not know who to tell, I did not know who to trust," Te'o said.

Te'o says he's only met Tuiasosopo twice, but after the story broke, Tuiasosopo tweeted him directly.

"I completely accept the consequences to the pain I've caused," the tweet said.

The real life woman in the photos says Tuiasosopo called her recently as well. Tiusasopo has not talked publicly since the story broke.

Te'o says Tuiasosopo called him to apologize and told him he did all this to "help people."


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