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Manti Te'o denies being part of hoax

1/19/2013
Play11:38
Manti Te'o Speaks

Jeremy Schaap reacts to Manti Te'o interview.

Manti Te'o denied being part of a hoax involving a relationship with a person online whom he considered his girlfriend, during an interview with ESPN on Friday night.

"No. Never," Te'o said in a 2 1/2-hour interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap.

"I wasn't faking it," he said. "I wasn't part of this."

Te'o said he didn't know for sure that "Lennay Kekua" never existed until Wednesday, when Ronaiah Tuiasosopo called Te'o and admitted he was behind the hoax.

Later Wednesday, Deadspin.com posted a story detailing an online relationship Te'o thought he had with Kekua which he says he learned was a hoax.

Te'o said he received a direct message from Tuiasosopo on Twitter where Tuiasosopo said he was the perpetrator, along with one other man and a woman.

"Two guys and a girl are responsible for the whole thing," Te'o said. Asked who they are, he said: "I don't know. According to Ronaiah, Ronaiah's one."

Te'o spoke at the IMG Training Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he is preparing for the NFL draft. There were no cameras at the interview, which was recorded.

The Notre Dame linebacker said he did not make up anything to help his Heisman Trophy candidacy.

"When (people) hear the facts, they'll know," he said. "They'll know that there is no way that I could be part of this."

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