Well for the first time, Manti Te’o told his side of the story that his online girlfriend Lennay Kekua turned out to be a hoax in an exclusive interview with Katie Couric.
During the interview, Te’o told Couric that his emotions were real during his relationship with the woman he believed to be Lennay, but turned out to be madeup by the reported mastermind behind the scam, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
Te’o admitted to Katie that he did “briefly” keep the lie about Lennay going after he discovered that she didn’t die from cancer or really exist, the reason being that he “was scared and didn’t know what to do.”
To help support his story that he was the victim of an online scam, Te’o also release phone records and voicemails left by whoever was behind the voice of Lennay, also believed to be Tuiasosopo.
But the biggest regret that Te’o had after this hoax was uncovered was letting his parents and family down. He tells Katie that the biggest lie in the whole scam was the lie he told his father about having met Lennay.
“The biggest lie I’m sorry for is the lie I told my dad,” said Te’o. “As a child, your biggest thing is to get the approval of your parents. For me, I was so invested in Lennay and getting to know her that when dad asked me ‘did you meet her?’ I said ‘yeah.'”
Take a listen to the clip below to hear the voice of ‘Lennay’ in voicemails left on Te’o’s phone and more highlights of the interview.