Who is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man allegedly behind Lennay Kekua, Manti Te'o's non-existent dead girlfriend? (Updated)
When asked how he knew that wasn't true, Alema Te'o said he knew because he was in charge of the camp and had never met Tuiasosopo previously.
"He told me that he stayed at the hotel and that he was in on all the planning, which was not true because I conducted all the meetings. I was the guy who was over the entire camp
"Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have blown that guy up right then and there."
Similarly, the author of the original Sports Illustrated cover story that was published in September, 'The Full Manti,' told the "Dan Patrick Show" that he also saw red flags while covering the story but felt he could write around the missing details because the scope of the Kekua deception was nearly universal when he wrote his article.
"Not only was Manti obviously duped here," he said, "but the entire campus was duped to the point where Father Paul Doyle said to me, 'I think I met the girl last year.' By the time I got to Manti Te'o, there wasn't a whole lot of 'Does she exist?' thinking in my head.
"There was a whole level of detail there, where when those little red flags — Oh, she didn't show up in Nexis; Oh, I can't find her brother's name to spellcheck it — you were able to write around it because you had a whole football team, university community and country."
In the interview with The Zone, Alema Te'o hinted that Tuiasosopo could have been trying to get close to Te'o for money, fame or both.
"All the while this guy's saying all this, I'm saying to myself, 'This guy's just trying to get close to Manti so that he can get an endorsement, or plant some seeds for some things down the future or get Manti to come to the events where he'll boost up any type of revenue that they could get. I had a bad feeling about this guy."
In the wake of this week's news, Titus Tuiasosopo, the pastor of the Oasis Christian Church of the Antelope Valley and father of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, released a statement on Facebook in which he expressed gratitute for the support shown to his "aiga," the Samoan word for family.
“There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe the overwhelming love & support me & my Aiga have received today. Feels like I've been drinking from a fire hydrant. lol. Your texts, calls, emails, prayers & messages are received with a sincerely humble heart. I know so much has been splattered all over the media about my son & my family. I also know that many who were born in a manger in Bethlehem & continue to walk on water will undoubtedly express their opinions.
"Those of you who know us the best still love us the most. It is my hope & prayer that we allow the truth to take its course, wherever that may lead. My heart goes out to Manti & the Te'o Aiga. Please allow this young man to pursue his dream without judgement. He's an amazing role model for our youth and Samoan community. I love U all from the bottom of my heart. Your friend, Titus."
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