Manti Te'o, the Notre Dame linebacker with the fake girlfriend: Was he in on the hoax, or just another victim? He's been claiming he thought she was real, and Notre Dame is backing him up -- so are most of his fans. But not everyone is so convinced. In an interview for Good Morning America, Katie Couric pressed Manti on how much he knew -- and finally he admitted it, Te'o said he'd lied!
But before we get all horrified/I-told-you-so-ish, Te'o is also still claiming he was the victim of a hoax. He told Katie he only lied in December of 2012, after a woman claiming to be his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, called him.
Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on September 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on September 12.
Now I get a phone call on December 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?
So ... he's admitting that he lied about Lennay, but only at the very end when she seemingly came back from the dead and it became unmistakably obvious to him that she was fake. Otherwise, this dude was 100 percent sincerely convinced that this woman he'd never laid eyes on in person was real. Supposedly.
Fine, let's give Manti the benefit of the doubt and imagine he really was the victim of a hoax. And then December rolls around, and holy shit, it dawns on him that maybe he'd been duped! And he felt stupid because everyone made such a big deal over his girlfriend who didn't actually exist -- embarrassing! I can see why he would lie at that point.
But his story still smells fishy to me. My own theory is that he really was the victim of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's hoax (the guy's a Mormon, so a girlfriend you can't fornicate with is kind of convenient) for maybe a few months -- but he figured it out much earlier than December and kept the lie going just to save face. And he's still lying now to save face. But that's just my opinion. Katie's full interview with Manti Te'o runs tomorrow morning, so you'll get the chance to watch and decide what you believe about this crazy story.
Do you think Manti knew Lennay was a hoax in December, or much earlier than that?
Image via ABC News