In a taped interview with Katie Couric, which will air tomorrow on that host’s talk show, Manti Te’o admits to at least one time when he lied about the existence of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.
Asked by Couric whether he was in on the hoax, Te’o says no – but he did mislead reporters on two occasions after receiving a call on December 6 from someone claiming to be Kekua, who Te’o thought to have died two months earlier.
"Put yourself in my situation," Te’o says in a clip that aired today on Good Morning America. "My whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that."
Hence, Te’o says, why he referenced his girlfriend in two subsequent interviews, one online December 8 and again when talking to a newspaper on December 10.
Appearing alongside his son, Te’o’s father, welled up and stood by the athlete.
"People can speculate about what they think he is," Brian Te’o’ said. "I’ve known him 21 years of his life. And he’s not a liar. He’s a kid."
Yesterday, Diane O’Meara came out and said it was her photo that was used in Kekua’s Twitter profile in order to fool Te’o. She also said she played no role in the scheme, but former high school classmate Ronaiah Tuiasosopo called to admit he has been behind it all.