User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Golf
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Voice of Te'o prankster? Couric plays voicemails

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

NEW YORK (AP) - The person Manti Te'o says was pretending to be his online girlfriend told the Notre Dame linebacker ``I love you'' in voicemails that were played during his interview with Katie Couric.

Advertisement
Taped earlier this week and broadcast Thursday, the hour-long talk show featured three voicemails that Te'o claims were left for him last year. Te'o said they were from the person he believed to be Lennay Kekua, a woman he had fallen for online but never met face-to-face.

After the first message was played, Te'o said: ``It sounds like a girl, doesn't it?''

``It does,'' Couric responded.

The interview was the All-American's first on camera since his tale of inspired play after the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day in September unraveled as a bizarre hoax in an expose by Deadspin.com on Jan. 16.

Te'o's parents appeared with him for part of the interview and backed up his claim that he wasn't involved in the fabrication, saying they, too, had spoken on the phone with a person they believed to be Kekua.

Couric addressed speculation that the tale was concocted by Te'o as a way to cover up his sexual orientation. Asked if he were gay, Te'o said ``no'' with a laugh. ``Far from it. Faaaar from that.''

He also said he was ``scared'' and ``didn't know what to do'' after receiving a call on Dec. 6 - two days before the Heisman Trophy presentation - from a person who claimed to be his ``dead'' girlfriend.

The first voicemail, he said, was from what was supposed to be Kekua's first day of chemotherapy for leukemia.

``Hi, I am just letting you know I got here and I'm getting ready for my first session and, um, just want to call you to keep you posted. I miss you. I love you. Bye,'' the person said.

In the second voicemail, the person was apparently upset by someone else answering Te'o's phone.

The third voicemail was left on Sept. 11, according to Te'o, the day he believed Kekua was released from the hospital and the day before she ``died.''

``Hey babe, I'm just calling to say goodnight,'' the person on the voicemail said. ``I love you. I know that you're probably doing homework or you're with the boys. ... But I just wanted to say I love you and goodnight and I'll be ok tonight. I'll do my best. Um, yeah, so get your rest and I'll talk to you tomorrow. I love you so much, hon. Sweet dreams.''

Couric suggested the person who left those messages might have been Ronaiah Tuisasosopo, a 22-year-old man from California, who Te'o said has apologized to him for pulling the hoax.

``Do you think that could have been a man on the other end of the phone?'' she asked.

``Well, it didn't sound like a man,'' Te'o said. ``It sounded like a woman. If he somehow made that voice, that's incredible. That's an incredible talent to do that. Especially every single day.''

Tuiasosopo has not spoken publicly since news of the hoax broke. The Associated Press has learned that a home in California where Te'o sent flowers to the Kekua family was once a residence of Tuiasosopo and has been in his family for decades.

Also on Thursday, the woman whose pictures were used in fake online accounts for Kekua said Tuiasosopo confessed to her in a 45-minute phone conversation as the scheme unraveled.

Diane O'Meara spoke with The Associated Press in a telephone interview. She said Tuiasosopo told her he'd been ``stalking'' her Facebook profile for five years and stealing photos.

O'Meara's attorney, Jim Artiano, said they had not decided on whether to take any legal action.

The 23-year-old O'Meara, of Long Beach, Calif., said she knew Tuiasosopo from high school and he contacted her through Facebook on Dec. 16. She said that, over the next three weeks, Tuiasosopo got in touch with her several times, attempting to get photos and video of O'Meara. She said he made up a story about wanting them to help cheer up a cousin who was injured in a car crash.

O'Meara learned her identity had been stolen on Jan. 13 when she was contacted by Deadspin.com.

The next day she got in touch with Tuiasosopo.

``When I contacted Ronaiah I got a very bizarre vibe from him, he became very nervous, he wasn't asking the questions I expected. He was asking `Who contacted you? What did they say?''' O'Meara said.

Later that day, he confessed, O'Meara said. She said she asked Tuiasosopo why he didn't simply stop the hoax.

``He told me he wanted to end the relationship,'' O'Meara said. ``He said he wanted to stop the relationship between Lennay and Manti, but Manti didn't want Lennay to break up with him ... He said he tried to stop the game many times.''

When news of the hoax broke a few days later, O'Meara said she received a text from Tuiasosopo asking her to call him as soon as possible. O'Meara said she didn't respond.

---

Associated Press writer Tami Abdollah contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Auburn at Kansas State
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 4
Sportsbook: Auburn faces tough road test
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 3
Rose: Top 25 Betting Recap - Week 3
Dobish: College Betting Recap - Week 3
FSU benches QB Winston for 1st half
Olsen leaves Miami after DUI arrest
Hogs enjoy resurgence under Bielema
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
6-1 Sat., 13-2 Run, +961 TY
+923 Picks This Year
3-1 Saturday, 9-3 L3 Saturdays
7-1 Guarantees, 14-7 Picks TY
4-1 Record Saturday
5-1 Last 6 College FB Picks
7-1 Over/Unders This Year
3-1 Last 4 CFB Totals
5-2 Week 3, 6-1 Guarantees TY
7-3 Record Last 10 Picks
5-0 Fridays This Year
7-3 L2 Saturdays, 10-3 L13 Picks
3-1 Saturday, 4-0 Guarantees TY
4-1 Fridays This Year
6-3 Week 3 Record
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 5-2 Totals TY
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks- Auburn Tigers at Kansas State Wildcats
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 961
Michael Black + 923
Stephen Nover + 600
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 595
Greg Smith + 390
Kevin Rogers + 380
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Chip Chirimbes 75 %
Stephen Nover 67 %
The SportsBoss 67 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 590
Pat Hawkins + 490
Bruce Marshall + 485
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 590
Stephen Nover + 480
Paul Bovi + 290
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 366
Marc Lawrence + 290
The SportsBoss + 280
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest