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Last updated: January 25, 2013 12:49 p.m.

Report: Te'o was talking to a female

Tony Krausz
The Journal Gazette

The voice on the other end of the phone when Manti Te'o believed he was talking to his girlfriend - who never existed - was female, according to a report by the New York Post.

Te'o, who believed he had a relationship with a woman named Lennay Kekua, was talking to Tino Tuiasosopo, a cousin of the alleged hoax mastermind Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, according to the newspaper.

A cousin told the Post it was Tino Tuiasosopo on the voice mails that Katie Couric aired on her syndicated show during Te'o's first on-camera interview since the hoax was revealed by Deadspin.com on Jan. 16.

"Tino is the girl that Manti has been talking to all these months," a Tuiasosopo cousin told the post.

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's lawyer, Milton Grimes, claimed his client disguised his voice to be Kekua while talking to Te'o. One of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's relatives said the lawyer said it was his client on the phone because the admitted hoaxer "is determined to take the rap."

Te'o told ESPN on Jan. 18 that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo told him that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo worked with one other man and a female during the hoax.

Tino Tuiasosopo lives in Pago Pago, American Samoa, and had been involved in another fake online relationship before becoming the voice of Te'o's fake girlfriend, a sourse told the Post.