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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

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| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments
1.

Liz    

Is this the point at which I am supposed to feel sorry for him? Because I don't. He scammed a lot of people, and now he blames his repressive culture. Bullcrap.

545 days ago
2.

Keyser Söze    

Whoa... that is messed up.

Kinda feel sorry for the guy... not sorry enough that I ain't gonna laugh at him, but still...

545 days ago
3.

Drew Hall    

I think I am going to stop checking TMZ if they continue to push this heaping pile of sh*t of a story. WHO CARES!!!!!

545 days ago
4.

msteve    

This story is getting crazier and crazier. I don't feel bad for this guy for manipulating Manti. What I don't understand is how people keep saying "this can't be real" Have ya'll seen Catfish lately? There is an entire culture of people that live like this and apparently this guy was doing a lot of things that had Manti believe him and a lot of other people. It wasn't just Manti that was fooled. This is all just crazy

545 days ago
5.

American Patriot    

This football player is a closet GAY. anyone who is a national football player and aged 21 - is GOING to have at LEAST one girlfriend. Cmon America, lets get real. The fact that this dude had a "online" girlfriend is proof that he is a "GAY". America feels sorry for this waste of life.

545 days ago
6.

Laura    

This dog and pony show has to stop--these people are just bat **** crazy. Make this all go away now.

545 days ago
7.

Black Dirt Goodness    

Come on, everyone. They're both gay. How hard is that to figure out.

545 days ago
8.

samson    

I guess this was the only logical explanation, but it's a pretty sad story for both.

545 days ago
9.

Shhh    

ESPN/TMZ are covering for Mantis. This guy is coming into millions. TMZ (if anyone) KNOWS you cannot release voicemails/conversations unless consent from BOTH people. Ronaiah is making millions also.

545 days ago
10.

dathan    

Fake girlfriend..............real boyfriend...

545 days ago
11.

Gargamel    

This guy should be in a straightjacket.

545 days ago
12.

Zer0    

Sounds like Manti was trying to do the morally right thing by hiding Ronaiah's secret. He could've gone to the media and said I was tricked by a guy that is in the closet and outted him but he didn't.

545 days ago
13.

ohboy    

This is by far the weirdest chain of events I've read on TMZ ever.

545 days ago
14.

Rationalist    

This is all so stupid. Sick of seeing it all over the internet. Go away!

545 days ago
15.

Truth    

It figures that this would be turned into a "gay victim" story. Thanks media.

545 days ago
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

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