Te'o discusses hoax in TV interview with Katie Couric

Football star: 'Pain' and 'sorrow' was real

NEW YORK - Manti Te'o told Katie Couric the feelings he had for what turned out to be a fake, online girlfriend were real and reiterated he had nothing to do with the hoax.

The All-American linebacker said he was truly sorrowful and pained after finding out the woman he knew as Lennay Kekua died in September.

Te'o's once-heartwarming tale of inspired play after the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day in September was exposed as a bizarre hoax on Jan. 16. Deadspin.com broke the news that the woman Te'o had claimed to be in love with did not exist.

Te'o, who led Notre Dame to a spot in the national championship, has admitted that when his girlfriend's "death" became a story, he misled reporters into thinking he had met her in the flesh.

Voicemails from fake girlfriend revealed

During the interview with Couric, Te'o provided some insight into why he fell for a scheme and why when he suspected it was not true, did not come forward. 

The most convincing element of the hoax were voicemails supposedly left by Kekua on Te'o's phone.

One message had Kekua saying that she had just gone in for her first chemotherapy session.

The message was played during the interview, “Hi, I'm just letting you know I got here and I'm getting ready for my first session and want to keep you posted.  I miss you.  I love you. Bye.”

 “Does that sound like a girl?” Te'o asked Couric.

"It does," she said.

The interview revealed that Te'o and Kekua planned to meet during a layover in San Diego, on his way home to Hawaii. He apparently received word that Kekua had gotten into a car accident.  And while she was just two hours away, he never went to see her.

Couric grilled Te'o about that missed opportunity.

“But it's like a two-hour drive from San Diego," said Couric. "Manti, that just really doesn't make sense to me."

“It doesn't make sense to me either at this point," Te'o said.

Te'o explained why he did not come forward even after he learned that she might still be alive.

"It was a big thing for me.  I was scared, that's the truth... I was scared. I didn't know what to do," said Te'o.

His parents joined him in the interview during a few emotional moments, standing solidly on his corner.

"He's not a liar; he's a kid, a 21-year-old kid trying to be a man and I love him," said Brian Te'o, Manti's father.

Face of Te'o's girlfriend says hoakster confessed

The woman who was unknowingly the face of Lennay Kekua said the man who allegedly concocted the hoax confessed to her and said he wanted to end the ruse that had snared Notre Dame star Manti Te'o many times before it unraveled.

Diane O'Meara is the woman whose pictures were used to make an online profile of Kekua, the fake person who Te'o says he fell for online.  O'Meara said Ronaiah Tuiasososopo told her that he wanted to end the hoax before Kekua "died" in September, but Te'o wanted the relationship with Keuka to continue.

O'Meara spoke with The Associated Press by phone on Thursday. O'Meara said Tuiasosopo confessed to her that he'd stolen photos from her Facebook profile to create Kekua.

Face of Te'o's girlfriend says hoakster confessed

The woman who was unknowingly the face of Lennay Kekua said the man who allegedly concocted the hoax confessed to her and said he wanted to end the ruse that had snared Notre Dame star Manti Te'o many times before it unraveled.

Diane O'Meara is the woman whose pictures were used to make an online profile of Kekua, the fake person who Te'o says he fell for online.  O'Meara said Ronaiah Tuiasososopo told her that he wanted to end the hoax before Kekua "died" in September, but Te'o wanted the relationship with Keuka to continue.

O'Meara spoke with The Associated Press by phone on Thursday. O'Meara said Tuiasosopo confessed to her that he'd stolen photos from her Facebook profile to create Kekua.

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