Manti Te’o is finally speaking out in an exclusive interview with Katie Couric, airing Thursday, Jan. 24, on her talk show, Katie.
For those of you living under a rock, the college football star was real-life Catfish’d by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, 22, who Te##Q##o allegedly knows.
The Notre Dame linebacker captured America’s heart with the inspirational story of playing through the emotional pain of loosing his grandmother and girlfriend in early September.
Although the entire interview is set to air later today, Good Morning America offered a sneak peek at the interview. Te’o admits to not telling the truth about fictional girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, after he learned of the hoax.
He says, “Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on September 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on September 12.” After learning the truth about Kekua on Dec. 6, the football player knew he was in too deep, responding to reporters at the Heisman Trophy ceremony about his beloved Lennay as if nothing changed.
He believed the public looked to him for inspiration in tough times, and felt pressure to keep up the act. “You know, my story, I felt, was a guy who in times of hardship and in times of trial really held strong to his faith, held strong to his family.”
Te’o insists his love for the fictional girl was real, explaining, “You know, the feelings, the pain, the sorrow — that was all real and that##Q##s something that I can##Q##t fake.”
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