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Manti Te'o & Ronaiah Tuiasosopo

Most Awkward Hug

In the Universe

1/24/2013 6:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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TMZ has obtained footage showing Manti Te'o hugging Ronaiah Tuiasosopo -- the man who allegedly masterminded the fake girlfriend hoax on the Notre Dame football star -- and it's pretty obvious from the tape ... Ronaiah wanted to hug Manti A LOT more than Manti wanted to hug him.

The video was shot in L.A. back in November on the same night Notre Dame played USC -- before the hoax was exposed -- and it offers a pretty fascinating glimpse into Manti and Ronaiah's relationship before this whole thing blew up.

In the footage, you can see the two were having a conversation before they each go in for a hug at the same time. But when Manti gives Ronaiah the "it's time to let go" pat on the back, Ronny continues to hold the squeeze.

Manti recently told ESPN ... he knew of Ronaiah during the hoax because his imaginary GF "Lennay Kekua" told him Ronaiah was her "favorite cousin." Manti said he had never seen Ronaiah in person before the USC game.

FYI -- The USC vs. ND game was the same day Ronaiah allegedly duped a Notre Dame superfan into meeting Lennay's fake sister U'ilani at the Tommy Trojan statue near the stadium. When the fan arrived, U'ilani wasn't there ... but Ronaiah sure was.  
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Manti says Ronaiah reached out to him in the wake of the scandal to confess to the hoax ... and apologized.

But really ... the hug says it all.

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