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Manti Te'o saga: Time for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo to come clean

January 20, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o says he was an unwitting victim caught up in the hype.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o says he was an unwitting victim caught… (Robert Duyos / McClatchy-Tribune )

Now that crestfallen Manti Te'o has supposedly told his side of the infamous girlfriend hoax -- that he was simply an unwitting victim caught up in the hype -- it's time for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo to tell his side of the story.

Tuiasosopo, who lives in the Antelope Valley of north Los Angeles County, is the man who Te'o said admitted he was behind the hoax, in which a phantom Lennay Kekua friended Te'o online and became his girlfriend without the two having met. ESPN has reported that Tuiasosopo called a friend last month to confess to the hoax.

Kekua supposedly died the same week as Te'o's grandmother, which came days before the All-American linebacker had a big game for Notre Dame on national television to vault himself into Heisman Trophy consideration. When the Irish went unbeaten and rose to No. 1 in the nation, his epic tale took on a life of its own. first reported last week that Kekua did not exist and that Te'o was either duped or part of the scam. Making matters worse, Te'o and his family embellished the story by saying the two had met.

“Out of this whole thing, that is my biggest regret," Te'o told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap this weekend in an exclusive interview. "And that is the biggest, I think -- that's from my point of view. That is a mistake I made.”

Tuiasosopo and his family, which at one time lived in Carson in south L.A. County a few houses from a family named Kekua, have refused to face the media and public outcry for answers. Supposedly a church-going family, it seems Sunday would be a good day to confess.


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