Actually, That Was a Woman Talking to Te'o
Tuiasosopo family recognizes voice of cousin Tino
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2013 10:47 AM CST
In this Aug. 16, 2012, file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o answers a question during NCAA college football media day in South Bend, Ind.   (AP Photo/Joe Raymond, File)

(Newser) – Surprised at how womanly the voice of Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend sounded? Well, that's because it actually was a woman doing the talking, the New York Post reports. Earlier reports pinned the phone calls on Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, but now multiple members of the Tuiasosopo family tell the Post it's actually Ronaiah's female cousin, Tino, heard in the recordings. "Tino is the girl that Manti has been talking to all these months," says another cousin. "There is no doubt whatsoever that it's Tino." No word, however, on Tino's motives. "How many people were being hoaxed here and who was hoaxing whom?" writes Richard Lawson on the Atlantic Wire.

It seems Tino, who is in her mid-20s and lives in American Samoa, got involved in the Te'o hoax after another long-distance relationship ended in 2011. There are "extraordinary similarities" between that romance and her fake romance with Te'o, one source says. After the first relationship ended, Tino "said it was OK, because she was doing better. She said she was talking to another person [and] he plays football for Notre Dame—number 5, Manti," a source says. No word from Ronaiah's attorney, but one relative thinks the lawyer said that his client made the calls because Ronaiah "is determined to take the rap."

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
Cat-Lover
Jan 29, 2013 4:05 AM CST
I can't prove it, but I don't believe a word of Manti's story.
ppaca
Jan 25, 2013 4:17 PM CST
Manti Te'o is gay. Now he has his boyfriend and his family trying to cover up for him. He had hoped this whole thing would help him in the Heisman voting, but it didn't help enough to let him win. Now he has to face the NFL draft. He might get drafted in a lower round, but not in the first round as expected prior to this debacle. He'll get paid MUCH less money inany case. And he'll get no endorsement contracts. Who could trust him? Te'o just ended up a huge loser. He could have gotten millions, now it's more likely the minimum pay for a linebacker. Or .... maybe some liberal did this to him because he's a devout Mormon.
Ericg537
Jan 25, 2013 2:40 PM CST
Many, many people develop relationships with others via the Internet. It's too darn bad for Manti's sake that he was horribly duped. I wish him well. I'm sure he's embarrassed about it, ND is embarrased about it, and it's just plain WEIRD.