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Manti Te'o fake girlfriend hoaxer to appear on 'Dr. Phil Show'

January 25, 2013|By Matt Wilhalme
  • Manti Te'o says he was the victim of a hoax involving an online profile for a woman named Lennay Kekua perpetrated by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
Manti Te'o says he was the victim of a hoax involving an online profile… (Lorenzo Bevilaqua / Disney-ABC )

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged culprit behind the fake girlfriend hoax to which Notre Dame football star and Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te’o fell victim, will give his first interview in a televised appearance on the “Dr. Phil Show,” a spokesperson for the show confirmed to the Associated Press.

Information regarding the details of the interview and its air date have not been released.

Tuiasosopo is reportedly the person behind a fake online profile for Lennay Kekua, who developed a relationship with Te’o dating to 2009. The two exchanged phone calls and messages online, but never met in person.

Kekua was supposedly injured in a car accident in 2012 and later died of leukemia, according to the legend Tuiasosopo reportedly created.

Te'o then garnered national attention when it was announced his grandmother and girlfriend had died within a short time period, but he would play in Notre Dame's pending matchup with Michigan State. Te'o collected 12 tackles and broke up two passes for the Fighting Irish in that game.

Notre Dame went on to an undefeated regular season and played in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game against Alabama.

The woman whose image was used in Lennay Kekua’s online profiles, Diane O’Meara, appeared on the “Today” show Tuesday. O’Meara said she was unaware of the hoax being perpetrated with her image, but she was Facebook friends with and attended the same high school as Tuiasosopo.

Te’o appeared on Katie Couric’s show in an interview broadcast Thursday where voicemails left by the linebacker’s “girlfriend” were played. The voice on the tapes reportedly belongs to Tuiasosopo.


Manti Te’o hoax: Woman in fake girlfriend photos speaks out

Listen to Lennay Kekua’s voicemails for Manti Te’o

Katie Couric asks Manti Te’o if he’s gay

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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