There is a new level of ridiculous to the "fake dead girlfriend" story of Notre Dame University star linebacker Manti Te'o. The alleged hoax mastermind Ronaiah Tuiasosopo used "a falsetto voice on phone calls and in voice mails" for months in order to develop "a relationship" with Te'o, Tuiasosopo's attorney told the New York Daily News.
The Heisman Trophy finalist “thought it was a female he was talking with,” lawyer Milton Grimes acknowledged to the Daily News. "It was Ronaiah as Lennay."
Grimes insisted that former high school football star Tuiasosopo, 22, wasn’t trying to hurt or humiliate Te’o. "This wasn’t a prank to make fun," Grimes told The News. "It was establishing a communication with someone. ... It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship."
Grimes declined to answer when asked to elaborate on his client’s intentions or what type of relationship he wanted with the college football star: "I wouldn’t describe his issues at this time."
The elaborate story of Manti Te'o's girlfriend "Lennay Kekua" dying on the same day as his grandmother was revealed to be a hoax by DEADSPIN on January 16. The narrative had often been repeated by sports and mainstream journalists in previous months and during Te'o's candidacy for the Heisman Trophy, which he placed second.
Te’o has denied any role in the "hoax" and claimed he was "catfished" ... but admitted perpetuating the story to news media after he learned it was not true in December.
Katie Couric asked the linebacker—who is Samoan, a Mormon and from Hawaii—if the hoax was an elaborate scheme to deflect attention from his sexuality. Te'o assured her that he was "not gay, far from it."
Does anyone believe any of this? Anyone?