Manti Te’o spoke to Katie Couric on Tuesday and admitted he briefly lied to the media and the public after he found out his online girlfriend did not exist and was part of a hoax.
Te’o sat down with Couric exclusively on Tuesday and said he was duped into believing his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died of cancer.
“You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti,” Couric said.
“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 told Couric.
Te’o told Couric said he received a phone call Dec. 6 from a woman claiming she was Kekua, even though Kekua had allegedly passed away three months earlier.
“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.
Programming note: Watch the entire interview on Friday at 11 a.m. on FOX8.
Te’o was joined by his parents during the interview. Couric asked Teo’s father what it was like to have people calling his son a liar.
“Now many people writing about this are calling your son a liar. They are saying he manipulated the truth, really for personal gain,” Couric said to Te’o’s father.
“People can speculate about what they think he is. I’ve known him 21 years of his life. And he’s not a liar. He’s a kid,” Brian Te’o said with tears in his eyes.