Manti Te'o Told ESPN He Wasn't Part of the Hoax, But Many Questions Remain and Everyone is Still Skeptical

Manti Te’o spoke to ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap late Friday night in his first interview about the Notre Dame star’s fake/dead girlfriend. Go read the entire story ESPN posted this morning, as there’s a lot to digest. (Amazingly, Te’o gave credence to the improbable drug dealer story the Star Advertiser posted Friday.)

In summary:

* Te’o said he was never in on the hoax
* he lied to his dad, which is how his Dad fed the media a bunch of bullshit about their “meetings”
* Manti did talk to the fake/dead girlfriend on Skype, but she was in a “black box” and couldn’t be seen
* the fake/dead girlfriend once asked him for his checking account number
* a “group of people connected to Tuiasosopo” showed up at Notre Dame’s hotel the weekend before the BCS title game and told him they were “waiting for Kekua to join them”
* last Wednesday, the day the story broke, he received a twitter DM from Tuiasosopo saying it was all a hoax.

When Schaap asked why he lied during interviews about having met her?

So I kind of tailored my stories to have people think that, yeah, he met her before she passed away, so that people wouldn’t think that I was some crazy dude.”

My lingering questions, which will probably never get answered (and I’ll probably want to add to this throughout the weekend):

* Did you really have no friends at Notre Dame who, when you told them how invested you were in some online chick that you never met, slap some fucking sense into you?

* After the drug dealer call on Dec. 6th, did you keep telling the media about the fake/dead girlfriend because you were just in too deep?

* Still curious what happened between that Dec. 6th call and notifying the Notre Dame coaches on Dec. 26th. What were you doing for those 20 days? I could understand being embarrassed and perplexed, but why not tell Swarbrick and coaches sooner and get that investigation off the ground?

* Ever after the Notre Dame private investigation – which didn’t come up in the Schaap interview, it seems – and Notre Dame handing you the findings on Jan. 5th, you still seemed confused when they showed up at your hotel. Would have been nice to find out which happened first … or what the findings revealed. If Notre Dame’s investigation nailed Tuiasosopo as the mastermind, why did you need a DM from him to confirm that?

Because you want to see it first!

Like and follow The Big Lead today!