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Manti Te'o SPEAKS

I Knew It Was Crazy ... But

I'm Innocent

1/19/2013 9:33 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news



0119_manti_teo_apManti Te'o
has broken his silence ... admitting he knew having a relationship with a "girlfriend" solely online was "crazy," insisting he was a victim, and revealing that the culprit has now apologized.
 
Manti gave an audio interview to ESPN -- the photo was taken in the middle of the chat -- in which he acknowledges Ronaiah Tuiasosopo tweeted him a full confession two days ago. You gotta love it ... even the confession was online. ESPN says it was followed up by a phone call.

Manti says, "I wasn't faking it. I wasn't part of this."

Manti says he now knows -- presumably from Tuiasosopo -- "Two guys and a girl are responsible for the whole thing." He says he doesn't know the identity of the second guy or the girl. He adds he didn't know for sure until Wednesday that it was all a hoax, when Tuiasosopo admitted it to him.

Manti explained why he lied to his dad and others, when he said or intimated he had seen the fictitious Lennay Kekua in the flesh. "I knew that -- I even knew that it was crazy that I was with somebody that I didn't meet, and that alone people find out that this gir who died I was so invested in, and I didn't meet her as well ... So I kind of tailored my stories to have people think that, yeah, he met her before she passed away so people wouldn't think I was some crazy dude."

As for one of the big questions -- why didn't he at least Skype -- he says he tried to speak with Lennay through Skype or FaceTime several times, but the person on the other end was in a "black box" and couldn't be seen. He says he also tried meeting her a few times in L.A. and Hawaii, but she kept canceling. 

And this is a little weird ... Manti says Lennay once asked him for his checking account number so she could send him money. He did not provide it. Still, no suspicion.

Manti says the fictitious relationship was not a full four years -- they would take breaks, but it got intense after she said her father had died.

He says things got crazy after Lennay's fake car accident when she was in the hospital, and he could only hear her breathing over the phone -- "I slept on the phone with her every night ...the only thing that could help her sleep was if I was on the phone." 

As for why he didn't visit her in the hospital, he says, "It never really crossed my mind.  I don't know. I was in school."

As for why he didn't attend her "funeral," he says, "Her mom told them [Lennay's family] they did not want me to come," adding, "I didn't want that to be the first time that I saw her was laying in a coffin."

Manti says on December 6 -- three months after Lennay had supposedly died --  a woman called from the number Lennay had used, saying, "Manti, it's me." He says that was the first time it was apparent to him -- he had been scammed. 

Manti says he doesn't hold a grudge -- "I don't wish an ill thing to somebody. I just hope he learns.  I think embarrassment is big enough."

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192 COMMENTS

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Previous 15 Comments | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
136.

beachgal    

He was in on this, too many discrepancies & 'stories'. imo. Dude needs a shrink.

603 days ago
137.

JillieJ    

Geez Harvey, listen to the people. We are bored and we want this story to go away. What's the point of it anyway?

603 days ago
138.

aurora    

I feel like a female Menti Te'o. I use to think this is all BS on his end. But until he explained that he saw blackbox on skype. It hit me there.. because my supposed BF skyped 2 times and I could never see him (just a black box) yet he claims that the US army overseas has slow internet? Now I'm thinking.. WTF? if you can see me... how come I can't see you. Internet is internet. Anyhow, at least I didn't get scammed financially. But I ****en wasted almost 3 months of my time. How stupid of me. Will I ever try the online thing again? No way. I'm just a bit more bitter.. .don't know how Te'o can not "hate" or resent... but what the hell, whatever floats your boat.

603 days ago
139.

Nwvotes    

Did Manti Te'o know his girlfriend was a hoax? Vote at www.nationwidevotes.com

603 days ago
140.

TT    

Yeah right...

Hey Manti I have a fantasy bridge with your name on it! Interested in buying?

603 days ago
141.

dathan    

After not winning the Heisman trophy The dead girlfriend story did not work anymore.....

603 days ago
142.

SL1977    

Should we have a contest for the biggest liars? Lance seems to be leading the pack...LiLo not far behind, and this guy bringing up the rear :P

603 days ago
143.

melscorner70    

That is some fraggle naggle BULL****!! Either he's real STOOPID or he thinks we're stupid enough to eat this ****!

603 days ago
144.

Sunny    

Why is this news worthy?

602 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

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