Te'o Hoaxer: I Was in Love With Te'o

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo gives first interview to Dr. Phil

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2013 12:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the 22-year-old man behind Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend, gave his first interview to Dr. Phil McGraw, and explained his motivation for continuing the hoax: love. Tuiasosopo revealed to McGraw that he "fell deeply, romantically in love" with Te'o, McGraw said in a preview of the interview that aired on Today. Tuiasosopo insists it was him talking to Te'o on the phone, not his female cousin, as has been reported.

Does that mean Tuiasosopo is gay? At first, Tuiasosopo said yes, then backtracked and said he's "confused." Explains McGraw, "Ronaiah had a number of life experiences that damaged this young man in some very serious ways." As for Te'o, Tuiasosopo confirms the football star was absolutely not involved in the hoax.

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is shown in a screenshot.   (MSNBC)
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A preview of the Dr. Phil interview.   (MSNBC)

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