Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
ESPN’s Shelley Smith is reporting that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the supposed mastermind behind the Manti Te’o hoax, confessed to a friend that he duped the star football player and that Te’o was in no way involved in the hoax.
In an interview with the channel’s Outside the Lines show, the friend to whom Tuiasosopo confessed — a woman who chose to remain anonymous — claimed that Tuiasosopo confided in her and said he fabricated the entire story of Lennay Kekua.
He (Ronaiah) told me that Manti was not involved at all, he was a victim…. The girlfriend was a lie, the accident was a lie, the leukemia was a lie. He was crying, he was literally crying, he’s like ‘I know, I know what I have to do.’ It’s not only Manti, but he was telling me that it’s a lot of other people they had done this to.
Two other people told ESPN they have a cousin who was victimized by Tuiasosopo in a similar hoax. The cousin engaged in an online relationship with a woman, but when the two parties would arrange to meet, the cousin would arrive to find Tuiasosopo: “When Lennay said she was gonna be at this park one day, we’d go to the park and Ronaiah pops up and then we go to the gym in Orange County where the kids have volleyball tournaments, Ronaiah’s there.” You can read the entire report on ESPN.com.