You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Notre Dame

  • 4 banned players leave Irish with green lineup
    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly confirmed what many assumed: The four players under academic investigation by the school will not play in the season opener against Rice on Saturday.
  • Demands increase for Irish defense
    Brian VanGorder walks down a hallway of the Guglielmino Athletic Complex, unaware anyone else is nearby.“Let’s get to work,” he says to the walls. “We’ve got a game to play.
  • Notre Dame
    Coach: Brian Kelly Kelly at Notre Dame: 37-15 2013 record:
Advertisement
Associated Press
In this Jan. 24 photo provided by CBS Television Distribution/Peteski Productions, talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw interviews Ronaiah Tuiasosopo during taping for the "Dr. Phil Show" in Los Angeles. The program is scheduled to air today and Friday.

Tuiasosopo, in love, made up Te'o girlfriend

A California man said he created the hoax involving former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and a fake girlfriend because he was in love with the football player.

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo spoke publicly for the first time in an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw for the “Dr. Phil Show,” the first part of which aired Thursday.

The 22-year-old Tuiasosopo said he created the online persona of Lennay Kekua, a nonexistent woman who Te’o said he fell for without ever meeting in person and later believed had died of leukemia.

Tuiasosopo said Te’o knew nothing of the hoax. “He had no involvement,” Tuiasosopo said. “He did not know anything.”

He also said the loyalty and support he gave Te’o was real.

Tuisasosopo said he decided to confess to Te’o earlier this month as the hoax was unraveling because he felt he could not go any further with his own life until the truth was out.

“You’ve heard of recovering drug addicts? It takes a lot of courage to stand and say that,” he said “To recover from homosexuality and this type of thing. Not only that, coming back to your real life, as hard as a task as that is I’m going to do all that I can to live right.”

McGraw said that statement bothered him.

“I hope it’s a pressure you don’t put on yourself,” he said.

Tuiasosopo said he killed the Kekua character on the day in September Te’o learned his grandmother died, following an argument with Te’o. The football star had told Kekua he didn’t need her, Tuiasosopo said.

Advertisement