Dr. Phil says the man behind Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend Lennay Kekua, Roniah Tuiasosopo, told him he was "deeply, romantically in love" with Te'o and claims that the voice talking back to Te'o for countless hours on the phone was not his cousin, as reported by the New York Post, but him. Asked by Dr. Phil if he is gay, Tuiasosopo says that, yes, he is, then clarifies that he is "confused."
Following Deadspin's exposure of the Te'o/Kekua hoax, Katie Couric booked the much-coveted first on-camera interview with Te'o. The next big "get" was the man behind the fictional girlfriend, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. That interview went to Oprah protégé Dr. Phil, set to air Thursday and Friday on his daytime talk show. Wednesday morning the Today Show had a preview of that interview.
In the interview, Tuiasosopo confirms Te'o's claim that he is an innocent victim.
He also tells Dr. Phil that he'd considered putting an end to the scam earlier, but couldn't.
I wanted to end it because after everything I had gone through, I finally realized that I just had to move on with my life. I had to start just living and let this go. There were many times where Manti and Lennay had broken up, but something would bring them back together whether it was something going on in his life or in Lennay's life, or in this case, my life.'
In getting to what would motivate Tuiasosopo to do such a thing, Dr. Phill says "Ronaiah had a number of life experiences that damaged this young man in some very serious ways." He also told NBC's Mike Taibbi that he believes after speaking to Tuiasosopo that Te'o was not in any way involved.
The full interview airs in two parts on Dr. Phil Thursday and Friday.