Dr. Phil: Hoaxer Was In Love With Manti Te'o

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admits to creating fake identity, says Te'o played no role

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013  |  Updated 12:23 AM CDT
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Dr. Phil: Hoaxer Was In Love With Manti Te'o

AP

In this Jan. 24, 2013, photo provided by CBS Television Distribution/Peteski Productions, talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw interviews Ronaiah Tuiasosopo during taping for the "Dr. Phil Show" in Los Angeles.

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Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw says the friend of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o pretended to be his girlfriend because he was "deeply, romantically" in love with him.

McGraw revealed on the "Today" show Wednesday that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted that he was the one who set up the fake identity of Lennay Kekua.

Tuiasosopo spoke with McGraw exclusively about the scandal, which will air Thursday and Friday on his syndicated talk show.

Te'o says he thought of Kekua as his girlfriend, though the two had only talked on the phone and exchanged electronic messages, and the story of how Te'o learned Kekua "died" on the same day in September as his grandmother became a major story during the football season.

McGraw says "absolutely, unequivocally" Te'o had no role in creating the hoax. McGraw also says that when he asked Tuiasosopo if he was gay, the 22-year-old initially said yes and then said "I am confused."

Te'o also was asked if he is gay, in an interview with Katie Couric that was broadcast last week. Te'o said "no."

McGraw says Tuiasosopo has had a number of life experienced that have damaged him "some very serious ways."

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