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Te’o tells Couric he briefly lied about girlfriend

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 23, 2013 at 7:35 a.m.

FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2013, file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o answers a question during media day for the BCS national championship NCAA c...

— Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o has told Katie Couric that he briefly lied about his online girlfriend after discovering she didn’t exist, while maintaining that he had no part in creating the hoax.

Pressed by Couric to admit that he was in on the deception, Te’o said he believed that his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, had died of cancer and didn’t lie about it until December.

“Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12,” Te’o said in an interview to air Thursday on Couric’s syndicated talk show. A segment of the interview with Te’o and his parents was broadcast Wednesday on Good Morning America.

The Heisman Trophy runner-up said he only learned of the hoax when he received a phone call in December from a woman saying she was Kekua.

“Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she’s alive and then I’m going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?” Te’o said.

An Associated Press review of news coverage found that the Heisman Trophy runner-up talked about his doomed love in a Web interview Dec. 8 and again in a newspaper interview published Dec. 10.

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Jackabbott says... January 23, 2013 at 8:50 a.m.

What a bunch of bs. The hoax continues. The public has pretty much caught on but the media is still eating it up. He accomplishe what he set out to do except for not winning the trophy. Doesn'st Katie know what to do with herself, could not cut it as an anchor now she has become a shipwreck.

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HawgFan says... January 23, 2013 at 9:26 a.m.

So, this girl that he 'committed himself to', is on her death bed with cancer and he doesn't feel the need to actually meet the love of his life in person???? This whole story is a crock! He knew it the whole time and he's trying to spin it to make himself not look like the idiot that he is. Pretty sad.

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HalALouyah says... January 23, 2013 at 9:38 a.m.

Oh she was my girlfriend and she died and I did not even have an obituary or go to the funeral? Yeah right

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LevyRat says... January 23, 2013 at 10:18 a.m.

Te'o, if you are in your 20s and are a normal male and if you have not seen your "girlfriend" in person, then you don't have a "girlfriend". Also, if you were so "committed" to this "person", then why didn't you go to the funeral or at least send flowers? What a bunch of BS. Liar, liar, pants on fire!

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HotSpringsLawyer says... January 23, 2013 at 11:19 a.m.

Learning from Lance Armstrong and Andy Pettite -- confess exactly what they have already proved beyond question. Let's see -- he said I took steriods twice? Ok, I confess, that's right, I took them twice.

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Got2Kids says... January 23, 2013 at noon

Inquire: Notre Dame does not lower its admission standards for anyone, including football players. That policy has been used as an excuse by previous coaches for their lack of success. Now, don't take that comment the wrong way, it is not meant as a slam in response to yours. I believe the exact opposite. He is at least of average intelligence, if not above, which makes this a difficult development to swallow. Maybe we are all out of touch with the younger generation because we would never "fall in love" with someone that we only contacted through cyberspace and had never met in person. Someone please tell me that I am in the majority and not the minority on this issue, I need some reassurance!!!!

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HalALouyah says... January 23, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.

He is so stupid he carries a 3.3 GPA at one of the premier colleges in the US. He's no different than any of our politicians, lying to make themselves look better until they get caught. He has some mental issues most likely

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rainbowharold55 says... January 23, 2013 at 12:26 p.m.

The blogosphere is rife with speculation that the girlfriend was invented to cover up that he was a virgin, or gay, or up to no good. Sounds more plausible at this point than anything he has said.

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HawgFan says... January 23, 2013 at 12:57 p.m.

Got2Kids... You're in the majority!! :)

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Got2Kids says... January 23, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.

HawgFan - Thanks, I needed to hear that I was in touch with reality!!!!!!

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