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Ronaiah Tuiasosopo

Intense Feelings For

Manti Te'o

1/24/2013 11:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0124_ronaiah_article_tmz
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo
had intense feelings for Manti Te'o ... feelings that developed over time that he channeled through a female persona, but the emotions -- like the scam -- were rooted in fantasy.

Sources very close to Ronaiah tell TMZ ... he struggled for years trying to adapt to the expectations of his culture, his religion and his family.  Ronaiah, we're told, never had a serious physical relationship with anyone and created a female persona online as a way to vent his feelings.

We're told Ronaiah used the female persona in many encounters, but so far there's no evidence he became intensely emotionally attached to anyone -- until Manti.  We've confirmed when Ronaiah spoke with Manti as "Lennay Kekua" he used his own voice.

Indeed ... Ronaiah's feelings became so intense, he blew his cover on December 6 because it was hard to walk away.  He never intended to reveal Manti was actually talking to a man ... he just wanted to reconnect with Manti, but still as a woman. 

Our sources say Ronaiah has buried his feelings to the point he has little emotion about anything.  We're told even the scandal has not produced intense emotions. 

We're told, Ronaiah shut down emotionally at a very young age.  He lived his life through fantasy.

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115 COMMENTS

No Avatar
61.

Tray    

Our poor society! People trying to be someone they will NEVER be.

551 days ago
62.

sheenfool    

So, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is gayasosopo? I'm confused.

551 days ago
63.

WhatsUrDefinition of crazy    

It's always a flame game ... And 50 dollars says he teouched it ...

551 days ago
64.

donna    

Please leave this guy along. He is a sweet guy and a leader. I grew up in Carson, around a large population of Samoans. They are somewhat innocent as they are very religious. I believe him and understand how he could get caught up in this situation as he trusted the people around him. Don't let his size and status confuse you with sophistication.

551 days ago
65.

melissa    

He got catfished! This is just like one that happened on an episode I watched the other day. He was catfished, big deal, it sucks and they are blowing it all out of proportion.

551 days ago
66.

blackcockus    

when you are 5'9 /285lbs and have an acorn size ****.. its tough.

the acorn never blossoms into a tree..

551 days ago
67.

Nonsense    

F**ked up. Done.

551 days ago
68.

MAS    

Poor fat guy. Him no love no one long time

551 days ago
69.

verlinda    

And he used his real voice...lol

551 days ago
70.

HuhOsayWhat    

They need to jus b 2gether...he used his real voice

551 days ago
71.

Fake GF, Real BF    

Ha ha ha, Manti and Notre Dame PR machine working hard to protect Manti. It still doesn't explain why he continued to milk the dead fake girlfriend after he found out she was fake. Or why he even talked about meeting her on a number of occasions. Pretending to be a chick online? Yeah, right. Manti wasn't even interested in seeing a girl in his 'real life'? Yeah right.

551 days ago
72.

CelticOne    

I want this idiot to come forward with an interview instead of hiding like a coward. He could have destroyed Manti Te'o's entire career and future with his insecurities and manipulating Manti's feelings. What a jerk!

551 days ago
73.

Crabby    

Creeeepppyyyy:( Poor Manti...is he kind of dumb or something to get duped like that on the internet? But then I am the suspicious type so I realize that lots of people meet and have internet based loves.

551 days ago
74.

jason    

TMZ is reporting this in a very mature way. In fact, TMZ has been much more mature than other media organizations. I can understand social awkwardness and shyness causing some men to invent personas which enable them to socialize and break through the shyness barrier.

551 days ago
75.

daisy     

ooooohhhhh nooooo - TMI. Really. It was complicated enough when it was just speculation that he knew about the scam. But now that it's about another person's infatuation + using the fake girl as a proxy? There is no good that will come from continuing to investigate this - it's a sad situation with tormented people and feelings involved. Let's let it go - it's kooky and weird and strangely fascinating, but there are young impressionable people involved, barely adults - let's leave it be. Anyone who is sufficiently emotionally troubled to do this, could be pushed over the edge by all this public scrutiny.

551 days ago
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