Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
  • News/ 

    Manti Te'o Knocks Gay Rumor, Denies Using Dead-Girlfriend Hoax to Cover Up Sexuality

    Katie, Katie Couric, Manti Te'O Disney-ABC/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua

    In denying that he played a role in orchestrating the hoax, Manti Te'o did admit to lying to the media for a few weeks, not wanting to detract from more pressing football matters after getting a call from what he had thought was his dead girlfriend's cell phone number.

    But what else did Katie Couric manage to get out of the college football star in their interview, the majority of which aired today on Katie?

    For starters, Te'o—who finished second in the voting for the 2012 Heisman Trophy—says that the reported perpetrator of the hoax, Ronaiah Tuisasopo, called him up to explain "what he did and why he did it." Only...he didn't, really.

    "Put yourself in my situation," Te'o encouraged Couric, trying to get her to understand why he lied about being duped

    "He didn't say why," Te'o added, fumbling the ball a bit, "he just explained that he wanted to help people and that was his way of helping people...being somebody that he wasn't and trying to connect with somebody on a different level to help 'em out...Obviously it didn't really help me out, but I didn't really say anything. I was still speechless. I had just found out that everything I believed to be my reality wasn't actually my reality at all."

    Te'o's most definitive answer may have come when Couric addressed a conspiracy theory that the strapping linebacker had created an online girlfriend for himself to cover up his sexuality.

    "No, far from it!" he laughed when Couric asked point-blank if he was gay. "Far from that."

    Why Manti Te'o's NFL career could be over already

    The 21-year-old admitted that he "wasn't as forthcoming" as he could have been when he misled reporters by first saying that his cousin introduced him and the girlfriend known to him as Lennay Kekua, and then later telling another journalist that he first met her at a USC game.

    In fact, according to Te'o, the person claiming to be Kekua first reached out to him via Facebook during his freshman year at Notre Dame, and he says things didn't "pick up" until his junior year. He says she kept making excuses as to why she could never manage to keep dates to meet him in person.

    Perhaps Te'o summed it up best when he was confronted by an understandably bemused Couric about why he didn't try harder to visit Kekua in a San Diego hospital when, before being diagnosed with fake-leukemia she was in a fake car accident with a drunk driver. 

    "It doesn't make sense to me, either, at this point," he shrugged.

    Check out the best of the inevitable Te'oing memes

    RELATED VIDEOS:

    FROM AROUND THE WEB
    MORE ON EONLINE