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Manti Te'o

Yeah I Lied

... But I Had To

1/18/2013 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0118-mante-teo-getty-irish
Manti Te'o is telling friends ... he knew the truth about Lennay Kekua in early December ... but continued the lie for 20 days for the sake of his team.

Sources connected to Te'o say ... it's true what ND Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Wednesday night, that Manti realized he had been hoaxed on Dec. 6, when he got a phone call from "Lennay" ... months after he thought she was dead.

But sources tell us ... Manti didn't tell his coaches about the hoax until Dec. 26 ... because he thought it would be a huge distraction while the team prepared to face Alabama in the BCS Championship.

During the 20 days, we're told Manti struggled over how to handle the situation ... but eventually felt compelled to come clean to his coaches.

Manti is currently training for the NFL combine -- and we're told he's getting a lot of support from the guys he's been training with.

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104 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

Chorizo300    

Bull****!!

540 days ago
2.

Twiz    

Holy Hannah - just give it up! So what if the guy lied, didnt lie, took a dump yesterday or whatever! No one cares!!!

540 days ago
3.

smurfya    

What about the part where he admits he made up this girlfriend cuz he didn't want his teammates to know how far in the closet he was

540 days ago
4.

OH NO!    

Still.....nobody gives a ****. This is lame and is getting way more coverage than it deserves.

540 days ago
5.

ts    

He must have spilled the beans just before their game with Alabama.

540 days ago
6.

skeyehi    

You know tmz...I don't think you like reporting interesting news anymore. You find a lame story and beat it to death just to make people sick of it and hate on it. Wtf?

540 days ago
7.

Where Are All The Real Celebrities    

The guy got CATFISHED!

540 days ago
8.

Rachel    

I think it's becoming more clear this ronaiah guy did this to swindle $ out of people using this leukemia "foundation" and a sick dying pretty woman persona lennay. I wasn't believing manti really could be so gullible at first but the more that comes out the more I think he probably was being duped. There's an interview a very interesting one manti's uncle did yesterday on the radio about ronaiah. Google it

540 days ago
9.

lmfao    

Is Lance and Manti Te'o related? Both seem like psychopathic lairs.

540 days ago
10.

Church Lady    

I'm still not buying his story. You don't go around calling someone you've never met your girlfriend. Unless you're trying to milk her "death" to gain sympathy votes to win the Heisman. So even if he initially got duped, he's guilty of exaggerating and perpetuating the story for his own personal gain.

540 days ago
11.

Jim in Cali    

Yeah whatever but seriously who gives a crap about this story. Everybody knows the mainstream media are a bunch of clowns who never check their facts. This is almost as ridiculous as the Kardashian crap here.

540 days ago
12.

I LOVE MY NIPPLES    

You Guys are so STUPID!! we women know we rule the world becuase we OWN THE VAGINA!!! And thats what every guy wants! hehe

540 days ago
13.

ashley    

Why is this story all over the dam tv every 5 minutes?? Seriously, it's beyond getting on my nerves!
Why is this guy getting sooooo much press?

I think I finally understand what happened. One thing, he called this girl his "girlfriend", but never met her in person, do I have that much right?

540 days ago
14.

EasilyHard    

This whole thing smells like a mirken

540 days ago
15.

freshrodc    

This story is lame..

540 days ago
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