Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man that has been singled out as the individual behind the Lennay Kekua character that former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o believed to be his girlfriend, has reportedly apologized not only to Te’o, but also to the woman whose images he used to represent Kekua in communications with Te’o throughout their fictional relationship.
The woman, whose name has been revealed as Diane O’Meara, was a former high school classmate of Tuiasosopo’s. She spoke to the Today show on NBC this morning:
The past five years, [Tuiasosopo] has literally been stalking my Facebook and stealing my photos. Ronny has called and not only confessed, but he has also apologized. I don’t think there’s anything he could say to me that would fix this.
As the website Deadspin.com originally reported, Tuiasosopo not only used photos from O’Meara’s private facebook page, but, in December (months after the Kekua character had ‘died’) requested a new picture from her.
He told O’Meara that the picture was for his cousin, who was in a car accident and had seen her picture on Facebook and thought she was pretty. The photo was used for Kekua’s fake Twitter page.
In other news, Te’o, who will be entering the 2013 NFL draft and has been projected as a first round selection, has agreed to give his first televised interview with Katie Couric, which will air on Thursday.
On Friday, Te’o spoke to ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap in an off-camera interview from which only audio was obtained. He said, among other things during the two and a half hour interview, that he had no part in the hoax.
He went on, saying that he was not certain that Kekua never existed until the Deadspin story broke two days earlier and Tuiasosopo called him to apologize.
Te’o also admitted to tailoring his story about his deceased girlfriend in order to make it sound as though the two had met in person before she died because he was embarrassed by the nature of the online relationship. He also admitted that he lied to his father about having met her face to face when a planned visit ‘fell through’.
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