Te'o Spent Hours on Phone With Guy Playing His 'Girlfriend'
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's lawyer says he affected a female voice
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jan 24, 2013 10:48 AM CST
Diane O' Meara appears on NBC News' "Today" show, Jan. 23, 2013 in New York.   (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)

(Newser) – You probably didn't think this was possible, but the Manti Te'o story just got even weirder. A source close to Te'o has given ESPN phone records that appear to indicate that Te'o did indeed spend hours on the phone with someone he thought was Lennay Kekua—more than 500 hours, in fact, spread across more than 1,000 calls. So who was it portraying Kekua in those soul-baring phone calls? Well, according to his lawyer, it was the decidedly male Ronaiah Tuiasosopo himself.

"It was Ronaiah as Lennay," lawyer Milton Grimes tells the New York Daily News, but Te'o "thought it was a female." Tuiasosopo has had vocal and dramatic training, even once auditioning for The Voice. Grimes insists there was nothing sinister about the act. "Come on, Hollywood does it all the time," he said. "People can do that." He says Tuiasosopo wasn't trying to mock or harm Te'o. "It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship.”

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
Trixielolo77
Jan 25, 2013 2:46 AM CST
Ronaiah clearly is delusional. That's not a joke when you chat on the phone for 500 hours, each time speaking in a woman's voice. That's called having a psychological disorder. I'm pretty damn funny at times and I just don't find that humorous at all in pretending to be a woman in all 1, 000 phone calls. I call is being a gay male who is violating another man's life. It appears cruel. Does Ronaiah go to the mall on Sundays and trip blind people!? Wtf? As for Te'o, he's only 22 years old and obviously naive and gullible.
GeminiMishy
Jan 24, 2013 9:43 PM CST
Not sure if stupid or just so desperate for some interaction with someone who he "could be himself" with. In this context that means he is either gay, or he wanted a woman who didn't know he was an all star football player who might be trying to hook him. Yeah, going with Occam's Razor on this one...
ppaca
Jan 24, 2013 2:17 PM CST
C'mon. Do you people really believe this? T'eo is gay and the other guy is his boyfriend. The death thing was his ploy to gain sympathy for the Heissman vote. He lost on all counts.