Te'o asks: 'Doesn't it sound like a girl?'

  • Article by: BRIAN HAMILTONCHICAGO TRIBUNE
  • Updated: January 24, 2013 - 10:43 PM

Voice mail from "Lennay Kekua" is played as Katie Couric interviews Manti Te'o, adding to the saga.

NEW YORK - During Manti Te'o's first televised interview after the dead girlfriend hoax that is engulfing him, he listened to a voice mail from the person purported to be Lennay Kekua -- a voice that was revealed Thursday to be that of the alleged hoaxer himself, a 22-year-old man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

"Doesn't it sound like a girl?" Te'o asked Katie Couric. "It sounds like a girl."

Consider it yet another of the mind-bending twists in the saga that has broadsided the former Notre Dame linebacker, whose sit-down with Couric was his first on-camera appearance since the story broke on Jan. 16.

Among the more notable moments of the interview was Te'o conceding he was not totally forthcoming but refusing to label it lying; Couric asking Te'o if he was gay and Te'o laughing as he said he wasn't; and Te'o saying that fear and embarrassment led him to perpetuate a narrative he had suspicions about in early December.

On Dec. 6, the person portraying Kekua called Te'o, announcing that she had not, in fact, died on Sept. 12. Te'o, confused, still referred to a dead girlfriend in media appearances 48 hours later.

"Part of me was saying, if you say that she is alive, what would everybody think?" Te'o said. "What are you going to tell everybody who follows you, who you've inspired? What are you going to say?

"At that time, Dec. 8, as a 21-year-old, I wasn't ready for that. The only one who knew was me. I did not know who to turn to, I did not know who to tell, I didn't know who to trust. I was scared. That's the truth. I was scared and I did not know what to do."

Earlier in the interview, Te'o was asked about transcripts of interviews in which he spoke about meeting Kekua -- even though such a meeting obviously never occurred.

"For people feeling they're misled, that I'm sorry for," Te'o said. "I wasn't as forthcoming about it, but I didn't lie. I never was asked, 'Did you see her in person?' Through embarrassment and fear of what people may think, that I was committed to this person I didn't meet, that scared me. To avoid any further conversation, I wasn't as forthcoming as I should have been."

Though the interview was taped before a New York Daily News report in which Tuiasosopo's lawyer confirmed that his client was the voice of Lennay Kekua, Te'o was a bit bewildered when Couric raised the notion that he was speaking to a man the entire time.

"Well, it didn't sound like a man," Te'o said. "It sounded like a woman. But if he somehow made that voice, that's incredible. That's incredible talent to do that. Especially every single day."

Couric showed an excerpt of a Jan. 16 Twitter direct message to Te'o, allegedly from Tuiasosopo, that admitted guilt. It read in part: "It's the 16th. I wanted to tell you everything today. I would and will never say anything bad about you or your family. I completely accept the consequences to the pain I caused."

Te'o's parents offered their unconditional support during the Couric interview, and Te'o said his deepest regret was the angst this caused them.

"The greatest joy in any child's life is to make your parents proud," he said. "The greatest pain is to know they're experiencing pain because of you."

  • related content

  • Manti Te'o

  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Jets 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
LA Clippers 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Portland 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Orlando 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Phoenix 6:30 PM
Toronto
New York 7:00 PM
Houston
Indiana 7:30 PM
Dallas
Chicago 8:00 PM
Utah
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Boston
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Detroit
Minnesota 6:30 PM
Florida
East Carolina 49 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Nevada 56 FINAL
Weber State 59
Evansville 29 2nd Half
Fresno State 25
Purdue 24 2nd Half
Kansas State 39
Dillard 3:00 PM
Alcorn State
Clemson 3:00 PM
LSU
Georgia State 3:30 PM
Chicago State
MD-Eastern Shore 3:30 PM
Detroit
Missouri 4:00 PM
Arizona
Austin Peay 4:30 PM
Indiana State
Milwaukee 5:00 PM
Louisiana
Marist 5:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Gardner-Webb 5:30 PM
Old Dominion
Hampton 6:00 PM
Appalachian St
Grambling St 6:00 PM
Ball State
FIU 6:00 PM
Ga Southern
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Colgate 6:00 PM
James Madison
Savannah State 6:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona State 6:00 PM
Maryland
Santa Clara 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Oakland
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
Tenn Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Toledo
Villanova 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Nicholls 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Winthrop
Murray State 6:00 PM
Xavier
Eastern Wash 6:30 PM
Indiana
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Baylor
Lipscomb 7:00 PM
Belmont
Brown 7:00 PM
Illinois
Pepperdine 7:00 PM
Iowa
Rider 7:00 PM
Kansas
Prairie View 7:00 PM
Memphis
Clayton State 7:00 PM
Miss State
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
TCU
TX A&M-Int 7:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Oregon State 7:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Hawaii 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Seton Hall 8:00 PM
Illinois State
NJIT 8:00 PM
Marquette
Stetson 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Pittsburgh 8:00 PM
Chaminade
Alabama 8:30 PM
Iowa State
Michigan 8:30 PM
Oregon
Colorado Christian 8:30 PM
Northern Colorado
Chadron State 8:30 PM
South Dakota St
Western Mich 9:00 PM
San Diego
SIU Edwardsville 9:05 PM
Portland State
Tulsa 10:00 PM
Auburn
BYU 10:30 PM
San Diego St
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Montreal 24 FINAL
Hamilton 40
Edmonton 18 FINAL
Calgary 43
Grambling 51 FINAL
George Washington 89
Saint Louis 57 FINAL
Vanderbilt 75
NW Nazarene 3:00 PM
Idaho State
Millersville 4:30 PM
Delaware State
NC State 5:00 PM
Tulane
Harvard 5:00 PM
(2) Notre Dame
Austin Peay 5:00 PM
Chattanooga
Brescia 5:00 PM
Morehead St
Tennessee St 6:00 PM
(4) Tennessee
Troy 6:00 PM
Florida A&M
Sam Houston St 6:00 PM
South Dakota St
UNC Greensboro 6:00 PM
Longwood
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Columbia
Western State 6:00 PM
Northern Colorado
TX A&M-CC 6:00 PM
Rice
Cornell 6:00 PM
Fairfield
St Johns 6:00 PM
Marist
Bradley 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
Mount Ida 6:00 PM
UMass Lowell
Thomas (GA) 6:00 PM
Georgia State
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
(10) Maryland
Barton 6:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Campbell 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
North Florida 6:00 PM
Samford
Prairie View 7:00 PM
(7) Texas A&M
Eastern Washington 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Cal-Irvine 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Quinnipiac 7:00 PM
Holy Cross
East Tenn St 7:05 PM
Indiana State
(5) Stanford 8:00 PM
New Mexico
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Cal State Fullerton 8:00 PM
Weber State

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close