Katie Couric played several voicemail recordings left by someone pretending to be Manti Te’o’s girlfriend during the Notre Dame linebaker’s first television interview about the hoax.
Te’o told Couric on her talk show, “Katie,” Thursday that he spent hours on the phone with someone he believed was a Stanford alum who was in a relationship with him. An investigation by the sports blog Deadspin found that no such woman existed, and a 23-year-old named Diane O’Meara has since come forward saying her Facebook pictures and identity was stolen to be a “face” of a fake Twitter account.
A lawyer for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man linked to the hoax, told the New York Daily News his client was the voice of the woman at the other end of the line in Te’o’s many phone conversations. The college football star “thought it was a female he was talking with” and “it was Ronaiah as Lennay,” lawyer Milton Grimes reportedly said.
The recordings show a very convincing female voice. “It didn’t sound like a man. It sounded like a woman. It’s incredible that he can make that noise,” Te’o told Couric.
Below is a voicemail of what she said during her first day of chemo treatment. Te’o said he had genuinely believed Kekua had gotten into a serious car accident and then discovered she had leukemia while in the hospital.
This is another voicemail she left accusing Te’o have having another woman in the room. Te’o said on “Katie” he was confused by this voicemail because he couldn’t recall an instance when a woman answered his phone for him.