Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o admitted in an interview with Katie Couric that he lied to the press and to the public about his non-existent online “girlfriend,” ABC News reports.
“The star Notre Dame linebacker, who has been hounded by reporters since the story broke Jan. 16, told Couric in a taped interview Tuesday that he was not lying up until December,” the story reports. “Te’o said he was duped into believing his online girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died of cancer.”
Te’o reportedly learned of the hoax Dec. 6. “But on Dec. 8 he again publicly mentioned his girlfriend,” the piece reports. “The remark came as Te’o was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, the award for the best college football player in the country. Te’o was eventually a runner-up for the trophy.”
Couric said to Te’o: "You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti.”
Te’o replies in the interview: "Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12. Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she’s alive and then I’m going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?"
A portion of the interview aired today on “Good Morning America,” with the full interview set to run on Thursday’s installment of Couric’s syndicated show “Katie.” Other clips from the interview will appear tonight on ABC’s “World News” and “Nightline.”
Katie Couric and Manti Te’o