Football (American) | Manti Te'o | News | Notre Dame

Manti Te'o Hoaxer Wanted 'Relationship' with Him: Lawyer

The lawyer for Rohaiah Tuiasosopo, the man behind the alleged hoax targeting Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, says it was Tuiasosopo's voice on the other end of phone calls and in voice mails with the football player, and that his client disguised his voice in order to develop "a relationship" with Te'o.

TuiasosopoThe NY Daily News reports:

Grimes insisted that former high school football star Tuiasosopo, 22, wasn’t trying to hurt or humiliate Te’o.

“This wasn’t a prank to make fun,” Grimes told The News. “It was establishing a communication with someone. ... It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship.”

Grimes declined to answer when asked to elaborate on his client’s intentions or what type of relationship he wanted with the college football star: “I wouldn’t describe his issues at this time.”

Te'o has said he thought he was speaking to a woman.

The NYDN adds: "Tuiasosopo’s résumé includes vocal and dramatic training. He was president of his high school drama club, performs with a Christian band and auditioned last year for the TV talent show 'The Voice.'"

Voice mails from 'Lennay Kekua', the woman Tuiasosopo claims to have spoken as, were played in Katie Couric's interview today, during which Couric asked Te'o point-blank if he had lied to cover his sexual orientation.

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  1. This story gets weirder by the second.

    Posted by: michael | Jan 24, 2013 9:03:27 PM

  2. Linebacker!

    Posted by: Rocco | Jan 24, 2013 9:04:15 PM

  3. Te'o was not the ND quarterback. He was a defensive linebacker.

    Posted by: Charles | Jan 24, 2013 9:04:26 PM

  4. Cute couple.

    Posted by: Markt | Jan 24, 2013 9:11:19 PM

  5. I'm sorry but I'm not clear why we're attempting to vilify either of these two people at this point. Did I miss something?

    Posted by: Marc C | Jan 24, 2013 9:31:29 PM

  6. Is Tuiasosopo a common Samoan name or is this some relation to the former Washington Huskies QB?

    Or even the former NFL defensive lineman?

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jan 24, 2013 9:35:30 PM

  7. Let me get this straight. Some guy who happened to be or had been on a college football team was talking to someone over a cell phone or a computer-based connection and that person was not what that person claimed to be. This is news?

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 24, 2013 9:40:58 PM

  8. @Bill

    This is a very high profile case of lying and deception. If Te'o was in on it, which I believe he was, then he used deception and lying to gain the sympathy of others to get a prestigious award and possibly other kickbacks in the future (IE a lucrative contract with an NFL team).

    The sad part is that he probably never needed to do any of that to get a lucrative contract so I think one can reasonably assume that these two men, desperately trying to hide their sexual identity, made all of this up as a cover.

    Just look at the Couric interview; when he denied the gay rumor, there was something about his behavior that told me he was lying--heck that lying behavior was there the entire interview.

    Posted by: Nat | Jan 24, 2013 9:48:46 PM

  9. And then the plot thickens

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 24, 2013 9:50:42 PM

  10. Oh and to answer your question to why this is news:

    This is news because a if he really turns out to be gay, this will shed even more light on the impact of homophobia to the mainstream masses--both at an athletic level and a religious level. It will shed light on the fact that homophobia ain't no joke, which I guarantee you that many people see homophobia as a joke or not serious.

    Posted by: Nat | Jan 24, 2013 9:51:46 PM

  11. @Chitown Yep, it's the same Tuiasosopo family. Ronaiah is Marques' cousin.

    Posted by: Rich | Jan 24, 2013 9:51:53 PM

  12. This is not news. This is not some mainstream conspiracy against us gays, so put your tinfoil hats away. This is press digging way too deeply into an athlete's personal life whose only results can only lead to embarrassment. He isnt funneling tax payer money to the frc, theres no dead hooker in his trunk, and the story about his invisible girlfriend didnt give him a physical advantage during games. He just plays FOOTBALL!

    Posted by: Toto | Jan 24, 2013 10:10:31 PM

  13. I think Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is a BABE! Manti will probably regret not hooking up with him. He is very talented and has such a nice voice and sings pretty well. Manti was a lonely Mormon in snowy South Bend among all those Catholics and he needed someone who understood his situation. Who better than a gay Samoan who had been a star quarterback in high school playing the part of a female on the phone and twitter? And then when the season was ending, they broke it off. Sweet!

    Posted by: Krishnan | Jan 24, 2013 10:15:07 PM

  14. Instead of the Young and the Restless, this is the F'd Up and the Crazy.

    Posted by: AngelaChanning | Jan 24, 2013 10:17:23 PM

  15. Umm Toto: YOU ARE NOT A NEWS EDITOR! This is news because when Manti Te'o was getting good PR for having a sick, dying girlfriend, many people believed the touching story. Now that it turns out to be false that same public has a right to know WHY they were duped. Whether he knew about it or not, the people want to know why they were tricked. Football teams and players are allowed to promote themselves and their teams with feel-good stories but when those stories turn out to be wrong, questions need to be answered. You take the good with the bad. Got it?

    Posted by: BETTY | Jan 24, 2013 10:31:12 PM

  16. Samoan, Mormon football-player. A deeply closeted gay man? Absolutely. Religion is mass mental illness to start with. Add football? Yeah right. Why wouldn't denial and lying be any thing other than second nature. Please.

    Posted by: Geoff | Jan 24, 2013 10:37:46 PM

  17. I rate this as watching a train wreck... you should turn away, but just can't help yourself. Really, this story isn't National news... and the media is spending entirely way too much time investigating it. I think they are both gay and got in a bit over their heads and now it is blown all out of proportion. He won't come out though, because he is afraid of what it would do to his NFL contract chances.

    My advice however would be to just come out and play the abused by society gay card (and I'm not being flippant here, a mormon gay football player at a Catholic school...). He would immediately get sympathy and the NFL wouldn't dare not award him a contract out of all the bad publicity... he is a good player, after all. It might even help his Heisman chances. But his upbringing and fear won't allow him to fess up...

    Posted by: MikeH | Jan 24, 2013 11:39:38 PM

  18. Just because a man has a fling with a man, it doesn't mean he's gay. Haven't you heard of blow-and-go?

    Posted by: jason | Jan 24, 2013 11:42:08 PM

  19. This guy's career is pretty much done. He "might" get some kind of basic NFL contract but that's about it. No "mega millions", no endorsements, nada. Once you start adding in "possible gay sex, guys posing as women" people start to back away. Maybe not immediately, but slowly....he's done

    Posted by: Ain't it Funny | Jan 24, 2013 11:55:30 PM

  20. I think he's gay. Poor kid. It's amazing what an oppressive religious conviction and internalized homophobia can drive a person to.

    Posted by: Munro | Jan 25, 2013 12:27:44 AM

  21. When will this "story" about a gullible jock end?

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Jan 25, 2013 1:05:15 AM

  22. Just because a man and a man have a leg, but this does not mean that he's gay. Haven't you heard about blow?

    Posted by: Cheap NIKE NFL Jerseys | Jan 25, 2013 1:32:23 AM

  23. Called this one days ago. Not about the football dude. It's about the hoaxer.

    Posted by: AZEXPAT | Jan 25, 2013 1:32:59 AM

  24. His "girlfriend" and he were on the DOWNLOW.

    His bf LIED ... oh what a LYING Mormon weasel. Romney gave us a clue of his "kind". LOL

    Posted by: FunMe | Jan 25, 2013 3:11:57 AM

  25. You know this for a FACT Funme?

    Posted by: OK | Jan 25, 2013 4:39:09 AM

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