01.24.13 10:45 PM ET
Manti Te’o Dishes to Katie Couric: Watch 7 Best Moments (Video)
Te’o: I Was Not a Part of the Hoax
At the top of the interview, Couric explicitly asked Te’o whether he had “any involvement in creating this scam.” A monotonous Te’o denied it, saying he found out about the hoax the same day that everyone else did. “I didn’t know that it was just somebody’s prank,” said Te’o.
See, Te’o claims never to have lied, since he was never directly asked if he met had Lennay Kekua in person. Couric counters, “Aren’t you splitting hairs?” Essentially retracting his statement, Te’o explains that the lie he is most sorry for is the one he told his father when he said he had met Lennay in person.
It Was All Real
Despite the fact that we all know Lennay never existed, Te’o tells Couric that he doesn’t believe his hardship to be exaggerated: “What I went through was real.” When asked if he felt his tragic backstory aided him in his quest for the Heisman Trophy, Te’o was unsure.
Are You That Technologically Challenged?
It’s safe to say video chatting has become common, but Te’o didn’t seem to find it odd that he was never able to get more than a “black screen” when chatting with Kekua. Couric, shocked at his oversight, asks if he’s as “technologically challenged” as she is, stating that someone his age shouldn’t be. “I wasn’t paying attention,” Te’o concludes.
Te’o explains how he repeatedly attempted to meet with Kekua, only to have the plans foiled by varying extenuating circumstances. Couric, along with the rest of us, is confused as to why, even after “the love of his life” was in a near-fatal car accident, he still didn’t go see her. Te’o’s only response is that he simply didn’t have enough time.
It Didn’t Sound Like a Man
After playing a few voicemails “Kekua” had left on Te’o’s phone, Couric asks, “Do you think Ronaiah [Tuiasosopo] could have been playing the role of Lennay?” Te’o believes it was a woman, but “if he somehow made that voice, that’s incredible.”
Te’o’s Mom Is Proud of his Character
With a lot of people calling her son a liar, Te’o’s mother says that he did everything that she would “expect a responsible, respectful young man to do.” In response to his mother’s tears, Te’o says that the hardest part of this saga is “seeing [his] family go through it.”