Manti Te’o briefly lied to the media and the public after discovering his online girlfriend did not exist and was a part of an elaborate hoax, he admitted in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Katie Couric.
The star Notre Dame linebacker, who has been hounded by the reporters since the story broke Jan. 16, told Couric in a taped interview Tuesday that he was not lying up until December. Te’o said he was duped into believing his online girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died of cancer.
“You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti,” Couric said. “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,” Te’o said. Te’o said he received a phone call Dec. 6 from a woman claiming she was Kekua, even though Kekua had allegedly passed away three months earlier.
“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?” Te’o said.
This one’s a tough call if you ask me. T’eo’s dad basically said that his son “is a kid.” Not saying that’s an excuse but if Manti isn’t lying about being committed to this girl then the timing would dictate some tough decision making on his part. Did he make the right decision? Probably not but in retrospect the guy didn’t want to be embarrassed and admit this whole thing was a hoax. Obviously it has blown up in his face but that’s the price you pay these days.
Privacy really doesn’t exist anymore, especially if you’re on a national stage. It’s best to just be as honest as you possibly can at all times. Easier said than done, especially when it involves your future and potentially millions of dollars. Ahem, Lance Armstrong.
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