The lawyer for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has come out and admitted his client was behind the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax; is very sorry about creating such a mess; and never intended to cause the football star any pain.
Speaking to The New York Daily News, Milton Grimes says Tuiasosopo posed as Lennay Kekua on every phone call with Te'o, detailing the former's extensive vocal and dramatic training, as well as the fact that Tuiasosopo tried out last year for The Voice.
“Come on, Hollywood does it all the time,” Grimes said to those who doubt a man could pull this off. “People can do that.”
Grimes, who represented Rodney King when he won a multi-million dollar judgment against Los Angeles, also confirms Tuiasosopo ganked Facebook photos of high school classmate Diane O’Meara to use as Lenny - and never meant anyone any harm.
“This wasn’t a prank to make fun,” Grimes told the newspaper. “It was establishing a communication with someone... It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship.”
Tuiasosopo is reportedly seeing a mental health professional and wants to tell his side of the story, the attorney said, but he's trying to adjust the admission to a California law that makes it a crime to create a false identity on the Internet.
It went into effect on January 1.
“He’s torn by this,” Grimes said. “He didn’t mean for anyone to be hurt. Anything that he has done, he has apologized to those he could apologize to.”