Hoaxster's Friend: Manti Te'o 'Was a Victim'
But questions far from answered about football star's role
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2013 3:29 PM CST
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)

(Newser) – Factor this into the Manti Te'o riddle: A friend of the man thought to have engineered the hoax says Te'o had nothing to do with it. "He told me that Manti was not involved at all, he was a victim," the unidentified young woman tells ESPN. She is referring to Ronaiah Tuisosopo, the man Deadspin singled out as the likely perpetrator in its original scoop.

In that first story, Deadspin talked to another source, JR Vaosa, whose cousin had been tricked by Tuisosopo in a similar hoax in 2008. Vaosa, however, said he was "80%" sure that Te'o knew what was going on, and went along for the good publicity. Te'o so far has remained silent, but something's a little fishy. The AP pointed out today that the Notre Dame star talked about non-existent girlfriend Lennay Kekua at least twice in interviews after Dec. 6, the date he supposedly learned of the hoax.

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Jan 18, 2013 6:30 PM CST
It's a coverup to hide his homosexuality and what the hell is a Mormon doing at a Catholic school? I was raised a strict Roman Catholic (which am no longer practicing) and we made fun of them and their ridiculous rules.
Jan 18, 2013 5:59 PM CST
What grown man has a girlfriend he has never met face to face? Come on, isn't that something children say?
Jan 18, 2013 3:54 PM CST
Bullsh!t. One of the "inspirational" stories was that after her car accident she went into a coma and hearing his voice would make her heart beat faster. If he wasn't in on it, then he had to be talking to SOMEONE else in a coma.