Friend: Tuiasosopo admitted to hoax
January, 18, 2013
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man who has been publicly identified as being behind the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax, called a church friend in early December crying and admitted to duping the Heisman finalist, the friend told Outside the Lines Thursday.
The friend, a woman in her mid-20s, agreed to be interviewed under the condition that she not be identified, saying she was fearful for her family's safety because of the overwhelming publicity the story has generated. In the interview, she did allow for her voice to be recorded.
She says Tuiasosopo gave her the tearful confession and account of how he played what he said was at first a game on the unsuspecting Te'o. And, she says, he told her that it wasn't the first time he had done it.
"He (Ronaiah) told me that Manti was not involved at all, he was a victim. ... The girlfriend was a lie, the accident was a lie, the leukemia was a lie," said the woman. "He was crying, he was literally crying, he's like 'I know, I know what I have to do.'
"It's not only Manti, but he was telling me that it's a lot of other people they had done this to."
Click to read the rest of Shelley Smith's piece on Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.