ITeam: Te'o's phone records back his claims

January 24, 2013 3:11:18 AM PST
Katie Couric will air her exclusive interview with Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o Thursday. He still claims that he was pranked about a terminally ill girlfriend.

There are many unanswered questions in the bizarre case.

On January 16, Te'o was discovered in the middle of a made-up sob story about his supposedly deceased girlfriend.

As Te'o hopes his own explanation will diffuse the doubters, it may be telephone records that prop up his story better than anything else.

Sources close to Te'o have provided copies of phones records from the fall of 2012 that seem to back up the football star's claim that he was victimized.

Te'o told Couric that he was scammed and explained how he actually believed the woman he met online was in a Los Angeles hospital being treated for cancer.

"I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12," he said. "Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12. Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she's alive and then I'm going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?"

Copies of records charting Te'o's personal phone calls show that in a four-month period in the fall of 2012 he made and received more than 1,000 calls to the same number in Los Angeles County.

The calls totaled more than 500 hours in length and many of them were more than an hour long.

The records, according to a source who provided them to ESPN, back up Te'o's claim that he made countless calls because he was concerned about the young woman's well-being.

"Now many people writing about this are calling your son a liar. They are saying he manipulated the truth, really for personal gain," his father Brian Te'o said.

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

We still don't know who the woman on the other end of the phone line was.

We do know that it was not the woman seen in photos that Te'o said he fell in love with.

That woman said she never met the Heisman Trophy finalist. She also said the man behind the hoax apologized to her but we haven't heard from him yet.