Friday, January 25, 2013

Manti Te'o says 'I'm not gay' during 'Couric dead girlfriend hoax' interview

On Thursday, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o appeared on "Katie," Katie Couric's syndicated daytime show, and among the questions posed was whether or not he was gay, as some have posited that as a possible reason for the Lennay Kekua dead girlfriend hoax. His answer was quite clear: "No."

Couric, in the video embedded below, asked him why he chose to have an online relationship with Kekua, who never existed. Her last question in the clip is "One of the theories, many theories, Manti, making the rounds is that you created this whole scenario to cover up your sexual orientation. Are you gay?"

Te'o's answer was quite clear: "No. Far from it. Far from it."

Couric also played some Kekua voicemails, provided by Te'o. One of them was Kekua entering her first chemotherapy session. After it was played, Te'o said, "Doesn't that sound like a girl." In fact, it did.

There was also a voicemail in which Kekua accused Te'o of having another woman in his room. It sounds as though the woman on the other end of the line was a very good actress.

And that is a good point: It now appears that the voice was indeed a woman. On Thursday, reports emerged saying that the voice of Kekua was in fact Ronaiah Tuiasosopo speaking in a woman's voice. On Friday, though, a new report was released saying that Tuiasosopo family members believe the voice of Kekua to be Tina Tuiasosopo, Ronaiah's cousin.

Te'o also revealed Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's full confession -- his Twitter confession. Tuiasosopo sent Te'o a direct message on Twitter, saying, "I completely accept the consequences to the pain I've caused and it's important that you know the entire truth before anyone else."

When asked why he didn't come clean sooner -- he knew about the hoax on Dec. 6 but it was not until Deadspin's article last week that he and Notre Dame revealed their knowledge, Te'o "I was scared and I didn't know what to do."

Teo's parents appeared on "Katie" with him, and they spoke as well, becoming quite emotional during the interview.

Finally, perhaps the biggest question mark for his future: When asked about his draft status, Te'o said, "That I don't know ... Whatever happens happens ... I hope and pray that good happens."

Te'o had be listed at no. eight on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper's draft board prior to the news that Lennay Kekua, his girlfriend, who he had said had died on Sept. 12, the same day as his grandmother and just days before one of his best performances on the field, never existed.

I'm not gay

Ronaiah's confession

Kekua's voicemails

Why he delayed coming forward

Teo's Father

Draft Status

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