Katie Couric to interview Te'o, parents about girlfriend hoax

NEW YORK Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:11pm EST

Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o speaks during media day for the 2013 BCS National Championship NCAA football game in Miami, Florida in this January 5, 2013, file photo. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes/Files

Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o speaks during media day for the 2013 BCS National Championship NCAA football game in Miami, Florida in this January 5, 2013, file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes/Files


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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Television's Katie Couric will interview Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o, the linebacker entangled in a girlfriend hoax, and his parents on her daytime talk show, "Katie," ABC News said on Sunday.

The interview will be his first on camera since news broke last week that his story about his girlfriend's cancer death - and her existence altogether - was exposed as a fraud.

The tragic story of his girlfriend and her injuries from a car accident and death from leukemia was one of the most widely recounted U.S. sports stories last year as Notre Dame made a drive toward the college football national championship game.

Te'o has denied being in on the elaborate hoax, telling ESPN on Friday he had believed his relationship was real with a woman who turned out to be an online fabrication.

Te'o and his parents, Brian and Ottilia Te'o, will appear in an interview on "Katie" to be broadcast on Thursday, January 24, ABC said.

"I wasn't faking it," Te'o said in the off-camera ESPN interview, excerpts of which were posted on ESPN.com. "I wasn't part of this."

The ESPN interview was Te'o's first since the sports blog Deadspin.com on Wednesday exposed the tale of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, and her death as a hoax and that a friend of Te'o's named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was behind it.

Te'o acknowledged in a statement on Wednesday and the ESPN interview that he had never met the woman in person, although he considered her to be his girlfriend, and said he had been duped.

Notre Dame, one of the most powerful institutions in U.S. collegiate athletics, held a news conference within hours of the Deadspin.com article to say that Te'o had been duped.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Vicki Allen)

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Comments (2)
jaroca wrote:
This whole story is so sad. Social mediocrity (some call it media) run amok…….Is this what the current generations deem important.

Some idiot, for whatever reason(s), makes up a story about a jock and it is sensationalized.

No wonder this nation is in such a mess and businesses state they cannot find qualified employees for the most basic jobs. Not enough brains to focus on anything important and sham “journalists” such as Couric rake in million$$ a year to feed the fires of stupidity.

Way to go America…….tabloid living at it’s finest.

Jan 20, 2013 7:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Raelyn wrote:
Jaroca — it is all bad, from the electronic games children play that kill and torture, from motion pictures that have no limits on murder (ie Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in 1st place) or sex, and television is doing the same with Viagra commercials in prime time, sick crimes, and worse, and we allow this and wonder why our children can’t be bothered to get an education when they apparently do not need one because their brains are fried and not allowed to develop..

Jan 20, 2013 10:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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