Manti Te'o to Katie Couric: 'Put yourself in my situation'

January 24, 2013 8:59:25 AM PST
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o admits that he lied to the public - even after he realized that the girl he thought he was in love with didn't really exist.

His interview with Katie Couric airs Thursday at 3 p.m.

KATIE: You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti.

MANTI: Correct.

KATIE: Why?

MANTI: Well, if-anybody put yourself in my situation. Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on September 12th. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to died on September 12th. Now I get a phone call on December sixth, saying that she's alive and then I'm gonna be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?

Te'o wasn't the only one fooled. His parents also fell for it.

"His mom and dad were brought into the whole scandal. He mom talked to so-called Lennay. His father would text her bible passages and talk about them," Katie Couric said.

But how did Te'o fall in love with someone he never met?

"You know, you listen to his story and it does seem plausible. He sees this picture of a beautiful girl online. He talks to her on the phone, he checks her out with a couple friends," Couric said. "...and he gets validated by his friends, saying, yeah, she's for real."

While some see Te'o as a victim, others still question if he manipulated the truth hoping it would pay off. Te'o father says that's "not so".

"People can speculate about what they think he is. I've known him 21 yrs of his life and he's not a liar. He's a kid," Brian Te'o said.


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