Report: Hoax mastermind voiced Te'o's girlfriend on phone
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo impersonated Lennay Kekua for hours of telephone conversations with former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, according to a report.
|Tuiasosopo's lawyer claims his client used a falsetto voice to imitate Te'o's girlfriend on the phone. (US Presswire)|
A lawyer for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged mastermind behind the Lennay Kekua hoax, claims his client used a falsetto voice to impersonate Manti Te'o's girlfriend during all-night phone conversations.
ESPN previously reported on lengthy conversations between Te'o and a phone number in the Los Angeles area. According to the former Notre Dame linebacker, he believed Kekua -- the identity created by Tuiasosopo -- was on the other end of the line.
The documents -- in the form of spreadsheets ESPN reported could not be "independently verified" as phone records -- revealed Te'o "made and received more than 1,000 calls totaling more than 500 hours in length from the same number."
Tuiasosopo's attorney, Milton Grimes, told the New York Daily News his client was on the other end of the line.
Te'o "thought it was a female he was talking with," Grimes told the Daily News. "It was Ronaiah as Lennay."
He added: "Come on, Hollywood does it all the time. People can do that."
On her website, Katie Couric has released the audio of voicemails allegedly left by "Kekua" for Te'o, recordings obtained during her interview with the embattled Notre Dame star.
"Hey babe, I'm just calling to say good night," the hoaxster says in one dated Sept. 11, the day Kekua supposedly left the hospital. "I love you ... I'll be OK tonight."
Tuiasosopo was president of his high school drama club, has auditioned for The Voice and has some level of vocal and dramatic training, the paper said. But to fool Te'o for hours on end required both skill and a dedication to the hoax.
We're unsure what to make of this latest development. This strange tale continues to have twists. But we leave you with an apparent sample of Tuiasosopo's voice. SB Nation found one of his musical performances on YouTube.
For more college football news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCFB on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, college football newsletter, and get the Eye On College Football Podcast from iTunes. You can follow Chip Patterson on Twitter here: @cnpatterson3.
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