TMZ snagged the footage, embedded below. It shows Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te'o hugging Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged miscreant behind the dead girlfriend scam that lasted about four years (off and on). There was a greeting hug involved, but it is obvious that Te'o wasn't all that comfortable with a man-hug.
The video was shot in Los Angeles, back in November, on the same night -- Nov. 24 -- that Notre Dame beat USC 22-13. It was shortly before Te'o learned of the hoax (Dec. 6).
In the video, the two are having having a conversation, then each go in for a hug -- simultaneously. However, viewers can see that when Te'o tries to separate, giving the Tuiasosopo "time to let go" pat, his "friend" continues to hold on.
In his recent inteview with ESPN, Te'o said that he knew of Tuiasosopo during the scam because Lennay Kekua told him Tuiasosopo was her "favorite cousin." Te'o said he had never met face-to-face prior to the USC game.
Notably, Tuiasosopo isn't just a Te'o scammer. The Notre Dame - USC game occurred on the Tuiasosopo allegedly scammed a Notre Dame fan into meeting Lennay Kekua's similarly non-existent sister U'ilani at the Tommy Trojan statue near the stadium.
The Deadspin report outing Lennay Kekua as non-existent exploded onto the Internet slightly more than one week ago, last Wednesday. Te’o and Kekua had been "dating" since 2011, but Kekua supposedly passed away on Sept. 12 after a battle with leukemia. Te’o, having already suffered through the death of his grandmother just hours previously, still managed to have his best game of the season -- just days later -- against Michigan State.
His performance raised the story to legendary heights, with media outlets relating the story of Kekua and Te'o relationship. However, until Deadspin revealed the non-existence of Kekua, he never revealed his knowledge of the scam, and even had interviews where he mentioned her after Dec. 6.
After the scam was revealed, Kekua did acknowledge that their relationship was online and on the phone and that he had never actually met Kekua in person, despite reports to the contrary.