Manti Te’o Admits Lying About ‘Girlfriend’ in Interview With Katie Couric

Jan 23, 2013  •  Post A Comment

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


  1. Look at the headline, and then read the story. The context does not match and thus we see the sensationalism that continues to discredit our media.

  2. In repeated media interviews, he referred to this girlfriend, who he loved deeply, but never even met. That was between September and December. Now come on, something is amiss. Deeply in love with someone you never even met? Duh, not!

  3. This was a lame attempt to get sympathy votes for the Heisman. Hoping people would vote for him so he would feel better after his “girlfriend” died. Or was he trying to hide something that a Catholic School wouldn’t approve? There were no girls on campus that wanted to date the football star?

  4. I love it when people start throwing stones at situations they don’t understand and use it to try and shore up their own fragile sense of superiority.
    The method is no different than great romantic stories in history where people courted via the mail, fell in love and were very committed to one another even though they had never met in person. Look up how many times something like this happened during WWII.
    In the digital age, it’s actually not uncommon, made moreso by the fact you can have all kinds of instant communications like Skype, Twitter, text messaging and even just email.
    Was he complicit in continuing the charade after he found out what was going on? Sure and you’re seeing why right now. Not because it was something to potentially help his Heisman hopes but because he would be the chewy center to a class five media shitstorm.
    I have friends I feel very strongly about despite never having been in the same room with them. Some of these relationships (and yes, they are with real people unless they were willing to commit to a gag even better than Andy Kauffman) go back decades. But there’s nothing that makes people feel more accepted than to be a part of the howling pack of the ‘holier-than-thou’ brigade, unified by the often mistaken belief that this person is more pathetic than they are.
    So laugh it up, gang – he’ll still be going to the NFL and make millions of dollars to play the same on Sundays that you’re paying hundreds of dollars to watch.

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