Manti Te'o Talks to Katie Couric About Girlfriend Hoax
Manti Te’o | Photo Credits: Summerdale Productions, Inc/Disney/ABC
In a sit-down interview with Katie Couric, Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o recalls falling asleep on the phone with his girlfriend every night and waking up with her still on the line the next morning.
"It goes back to what my parents taught me," the Notre Dame football star tells Couric. "To always be there for somebody when they need help."
"I hope you have rollover minutes," Couric quips.
The problem, of course, which came to light last week, is that Te'o's girlfriend did not exist. Lennay Kekua was the product of an elaborate hoax that involved a faked death and numerous falsified social media accounts in service of an inspiring story: a Heisman-candidate linebacker winning a football game hours after his girlfriend tragically passed away after a battle with leukemia.
The question remains: Was Te'o in on the stunt, or was he a victim? In his interview with Couric, Te'o recalls being on the phone with the girlfriend when she emerged from a coma.
"She started to whisper my name," he said. "And I jumped for joy. I was like, 'She is out! She is talking!' ... I was like, 'See they were right, I... do help her.'"
Check out a clip of his interview with Couric below:
What do you think? Is Te'o a perpetrator or a victim?
Couric's full interview with Te'o and his parents, Brian and Ottilia, airs Thursday on Katie. Check local listings for broadcast times.