The Manti Te’o fake girlfriend saga just got stranger. Dr. Phil McGraw interviewed Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man at the core of the hoax involving Notre Dame linebacker Te’o and an online profile of a girl who didn’t actually exist. Their dialogue will air in two parts on McGraw’s talk show on Thursday and Friday.
While hyping the interview on the ‘Today Show’ on Wednesday, McGraw divulged that Tuiasosopo considered the hoax — and his involvement with Te’o — a relationship.
Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love. …I asked him straight up, “Was this a romantic relationship with you?” And he says yes. I said, “Are you then therefore gay?” And he said, “When you put it that way, yes.” And then he caught himself and said, “I am confused.”
Cut to 1:45 of the video for the quote.
McGraw also said Tuiasosopo claimed it was his voice on the calls aired during the interview Te’o conducted with Katie Couric and that the linebacker was ‘absolutely, unequivocally’ not involved in the hoax.
If this is true, Te’o is probably lucky that Tuiasosopo didn’t go full-on Buffalo Bill on him during the season.
Who knows where this will lead, or if there’s more to come, but listen to Tuiasosopo speak at the beginning of the video and it’s not that much of a reach to think he could alter his voice.