Manti Te'o admits to Katie Couric on 'Katie' he was in too deep after learning of girlfriend hoax

Te'o, parents talk with Couric

In his first TV interview, Manti Te'o admits he wasn't as forthcoming as he should have been after learning his longtime girlfriend, who he believed had died, didn't actually exist.

Te'o linebacker and his parents, Brian and Ottilia Te'o, spoke exclusively with Katie Couric in an interview set to air Thursday.

In early clips released by the show, the former Notre Dame linebacker is emotional as he reflects on what he has called an elaborate, cruel hoax.

"Katie, put yourself in my situation. My whole world told me that (my girlfriend) died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12," Te'o said. "Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6 saying that she's alive, and then I'm going to be put on national TV two days later, and they asked me about the same question. What would you do?"

Brian Te'o also defends his son's character after accusations that the football star may have had a hand in creating the hoax.

"People can speculate about what they think he is," he said. "I've known him 21 years of his life, and he's not a liar. He's a kid."

Couric's interview with the Te'o family will air Thursday at 4 p.m. on ABC 10.

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