Posted: Jan 18, 2013 5:35 PM by cbssports.com
The Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax has yet another reveal, but hopefully this one will answer more questions than it raises.
ESPN's Shelley Smith is reporting that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man identified by Deadspin as the coordinator of the Lennay Kekua hoax, admitted to a friend in December to fooling the Notre Dame linebacker.
She says Tuiasosopo gave her the tearful confession and account of how he played, what he said was at first a game, on the unsuspecting Te'o. And, she says, he told her that it wasn't the first time he had done it.
"He (Ronaiah) told me that Manti was not involved at all, he was a victim. ... The girlfriend was a lie, the accident was a lie, the leukemia was a lie," said the woman. "He was crying, he was literally crying, he's like 'I know, I know what I have to do.'
"It's not only Manti, but he was telling me that it's a lot of other people they had done this to."
Tuiasosopo's friend also told ESPN the hoax included Tuiasosopo's female cousin, who played the role of Lennay Kekua on the phone for the alleged conversations between Te'o and his "girlfriend" -- whom he believed was suffering from leukemia. ESPN also interviewed two people who said they had a cousin who was the victim of a hoax led by Tuiasosopo.
While this appears to provide clarity on how the hoax began, it still leaves questions unanswered regarding when Te'o was made aware of the situation and why it was not addressed until the Deadspin report. Until Te'o or Tuiasosopo speak openly about the issue, we will still be missing pieces of this twisted story.