New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – In his first on-camera interview, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o admitted that he partly hid the truth after discovering in early December that girlfriend Lennay Kekua did not exist.
However, Te’o told nationally syndicated talk=show host Katie Couric that the pain he felt when he was told that Kekua died of cancer on Sept. 23 was real, however.
“What I went through was real. The feelings, the pain, the sorrow. That was all real,” Te’o said to Couric.
Te’o told Couric that he had no idea of the true nature of his relationship with Kekua until Dec. 6, when the person going by that name called to say she was still alive.
Despite the December phone call, Te’o said he was not totally convinced that Kekua was a hoax until Jan. 16, when one of the alleged perpetrators of the scam, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, called him to confess and apologize.
“I think for me, the only thing I basked in is that I could… I had an impact on people. That people turned to me for inspiration,” Te’o replied when asked by Couric if the publicity the story gave him was “intoxicating”.
In an interview with Nightline host Dan Harris, Couric said she believes Te’o's “affection for this young woman was very real.”
“I think the relationship was really real. I think the pain he felt was very real. He played a voice mail, and it’s of a boyfriend and girlfriend,” Couric said.
“Yes, he stayed on the phone with her for hours and hours. He would keep the phone on at night and wake up with the phone on his ear in the morning,” she added.
Meanwhile, several members of the Washington Redskins were the targets of a hoax on Twitter, according to NFL.com.
According to NFL.com, the Redskins posted a memo directing players to avoid all contact with the person owning the Twitter account @RedRidnH00d. That account featured the picture of adult film actress C.J. Miles.
At least four Redskins players had previously had contact with the account, which goes by the pseudonym Sidney Ackerman.
“Ackerman” had altered Miles’ photos — changing her hair color, for instance — to appear as a different person. The report indicated that players attempted to meet “Ackerman” several times but to no avail.
The team ultimately determined that the person behind the Ackerman persona was a female Redskins fan who never attempted to exploit any of the players.
Recently, Colts punter Pat McAfee admitted that he was nearly tricked on Twitter by someone “Abigail Johnson” several years ago.
Fortunately for McAfee, he figured out she was probably fake and was vindicated when he saw the Twitter account mentioned on MTV’s “Catfish.”