An anonymous source tells ESPN that the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax was perpetrated entirely by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, and that the star Notre Dame linebacker played no role at all in the widely-publicized scam.
The unnamed woman alleges to be an acquaintance of Tuiasosopo. She told the network that this 22-year old California resident phoned her in early December and offered up a tearful confession.
“He 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.'”
Tuiasosopo supposedly said he had “Catfished” not just Te’o, but multiple others as well over the years.
Outside the Lines, meanwhile, spoke to a pair of individuals who also claim they had a hoax pulled over on them – both by Tuiasosopo and both using the name Lennay Kekua.
Tuiasosopo has not commented publicly since this story came out and his name became linked with Te’o, Kekua and the entire sordid mess.
The original Deadspin.com article cited Tuiasosopo as playing a role in the situation, but also quoted an insider who was “80%” sure he had been working with Manti.
So now the question remains: Whish is more likely, Te’o being Catfished or Te’o Catfishing the media?