Hold the Phone: Ronaiah Tuiasosopo Reportedly Voice of Fake Girlfriend in Manti Te’o Hoax

The alleged hoax mastermind impersonated a woman's voice on more than 1,000 calls with Manti Te'o.

  • Share
  • Read Later
NUCCIO DINUZZO / CHICAGO TRIBUNE/ MCT VIA GETTY IMAGES

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o (5) fights his emotions as he leaves the field after a 42-14 loss against Alabama in the BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on Monday, January 7, 2013, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Wait, what?! In another ridiculous twist in the Manti Te’o story that America can’t get enough of, it turns out that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man widely seen as the mastermind of the hoax, also played the voice of Lennay Kekua, the Notre Dame star’s fake girlfriend.

The New York Daily News reported this morning that Tuiasosopo disguised his voice to sound like a woman’s in all the phone calls Te’o shared with his fake girlfriend. The calls — more than 1,000 of them, according to ESPN — were a central facet of Te’o’s relationship with Kekua.

Tuiasosopo’s lawyer, Milton Grimes, told the Daily News plainly: “It was Ronaiah as Lennay.”

(VIDEOConfused about Manti Te’o? This Taiwanese Animated Video Will Clear Things Right Up)

A budding Christian singer who reportedly auditioned for the television singing competition The Voice, Tuiasosopo was the president of his high school drama club and has had voice training, according to the Daily News.

“This wasn’t a prank to make fun,” said Grimes, who represented Rodney King in his 1990s suit against the city of Los Angeles. “It was establishing a communication with someone… It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship.”

Tuiasosopo took photos belonging to a high school classmate, identified as Diane O’Meara, to portray Kekua on Twitter. O’Meara had no idea her face was being used in the hoax.

Grimes said Tuiasosopo is seeking counseling and wants to tell his story.

MOREManti Te’o Interview: Five Questions We Hope Katie Couric Asks

2 comments
TimThomas
TimThomas

I think the media has "america can't get enough of" and themselves confused. I couldn't care less how many fake girlfriends him or anyone else has. Ridiculous what this countries media thinks is news.

SamNitrile
SamNitrile like.author.displayName 1 Like

Manti is probably barfing all over the place.  Have all of you not heard the recording of "Lennay's voice".  I am objective and I don't go with what all my friends think.  I listened to it a few times and it is damn convincing that it sounds like  a girl  

I don’t get it, of all things this Hollywood  lawyer of Roniah reveals all week, is that Roniah is the voice behind Lennay and it's normal in Los Angeles.  What a mock to the people of LA.  His  announcement seems very calculated on their part.   I wonder what the the intention was for bringing that out today.  It's like everything else that was done to Teo , the timing seems so well planned. I believe that are they purposely trying to ruin Manti even more and trying to deflect the attention away from the person who caused all this.  

I love how they hire expensive Hollywood attorneys and psychiatrists, but they still won't come public and have the guts to apologize in public and admit in public. . They are controlling this story. I bet they are covering up for another family member. Isn't it odd how everyone only questions Teo,but not ,Tuiasosopo? Are they afraid of his big football family, background?  I think so.  Teo's name is not big in football yet, and so he is an easy scapegoat, but with ties to a big football family and an uncle in Hollywood, they are coming out squeaky clean.  

It's okay.  I believe that things happen for a reason, and you may not see justice today, but the truth will always be there and it will eventually lead the blind, foolish and ignorant.


Manti, you will come out stronger than you think.  Don't doubt yourself.  You have many supporters, bro.