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Ronaiah Tuiasosopo

Crushing Social Pressure Drove Him Into 'Fantasy World'

1/30/2013 12:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Ronaiah Tuiasosopo -- the man behind the Manti Te'o hoax -- is telling friends he felt compelled to create a "fantasy world" for himself because he felt crushing social pressure from 3 major forces in his life ... TMZ has learned.

We already know Ronaiah thinks he might be gay because he fell in love with Manti while pretending to be the fictional "Lennay Kekua" ... and told Dr. Phil he's "confused" about his sexuality.

But sources close to Ronaiah tell TMZ ... he was always afraid to explore his sexuality fearing scorn and ridicule from the Samoan community, his church community and the football community.   At an early age, we're told Ronaiah created a private world for himself, that was not rooted in reality.

Besides playing high school football, Ronaiah's family is a VERY football-centric group -- with several members having played in the NFL.

Instead, we're told Ronaiah created a female character, like Lennay, to interact with men through her ... because instead of feeling guilt about his sexuality, he could chalk it all up to make-believe.

Ronaiah is now seeing a therapist -- not Dr. Phil -- and we're told he's finally dealing with the issues he's been avoiding for most of his adult life.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
57 COMMENTS

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16.

athena    

umm, the Samoan culture does NOT look down or even remotely look down upon gays and lesbiens. If you are homosexual you are considered a different sort of person. If HIS own family looked down on him say that but don't blame the culture until you've done research! >:(

568 days ago
17.

JFO    

Crushing social pressure - is that anything like the overwhelming need to be in the public eye on an almost daily basis???? How does he do it when he's being crushed like this????? Only his hairdresser knows for sure .... this guy is like a case of herpes. He's damn inconvenient and keeps popping up at the most inoportune moments.

568 days ago
18.

thugzilla    

ok its like this. dude is a homo and a dumb ass. if this hoax was a real with out Manti Te'o being in on ot from the begining he should get a boot up his ass. No wait, he might enjoy that. Maybe he should get his ass beat. But then again he may like that also!!

568 days ago
19.

mr.howell     

What social pressure?...in this day and age!..look at all the celebs that come out!..what's the big deal?..get over it!..you must be a little flakey to live in a fantasy world in 2013!.

568 days ago
20.

HoTMZ    

I feel sorry for him, hope he works out those issues and can be in an open relationship with Manti, for both of their sake.

567 days ago
21.

Babycakes    

So basically he is scared to come out even though no one gives a crap and judging by that picture with his sweater so sweetly tied around his neck most people probably would not be surprised.

567 days ago
22.

JusticeINC    

So how much was he paid to pretend Te'o wasn't his lover?

567 days ago
23.

judy jetson    

Cuckoo for cocoa puffs???

567 days ago
24.

Nobody.Puts.Bieber.In.A.Corner    

Bodu gives a chit, then, now or later, seriously, who cares about some no name and his catfish. phuck. enough already.

567 days ago
25.

Gary    

Dr, creepy Phil is not licensed and so he couldn't treat him....look it up KMZ....

567 days ago
26.

Rosie55    

This ****ing loser can go back to playing another loser on the internet

567 days ago
27.

liz    

I feel sorry for him

567 days ago
28.

Lydia    

I thought it came out that it was Rona's female cousin who was talking to Man Tie?????????????

567 days ago
29.

Whome?    

Guy is more like a groupie taking the fall for a fellow Islander in order to preserve the fellow Islander's marketability. Hey Harvey, what about some real phone records and not a carefully crafted and random spread sheet?

567 days ago
30.

Yasmin    

I really hate that Rihanna is acting so stupid and getting back with Chris when a man hits you once dosnt mean he is not going to hit you again and that's not rocket science to figure that out its a known fact

567 days ago
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