Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man who says he pretended to be Lennay Kekua, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's girlfriend (who turned out not to exist), told Dr. Phil McGraw that the scheme had “everything to do” with escaping from real life because he had been molested as a child.
The comments were broadcast Friday during an airing of McGraw's "Dr. Phil" television show.
Tuiasosopo told McGraw he was repeatedly molested by a family friend beginning at age 12. Tuiasosopo did not name his alleged attacker and did not say whether he had told police about his claim.
He says creating Kekua allowed him to live in an alternate reality, and also validated for him that he was a good person on the inside.
Tuiasosopo also apologized to Te'o during a portion of the interview broadcast Friday.