Manti Te’o conducted his first interview since it was revealed that his deceased girlfriend was a hoax. And during the interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, Te’o denied being behind the hoax (via Brett McMurphy of ESPN).”Manti Te’o tells [Jeremy Schaap] he was not involved in creating girlfriend hoax. ‘There is no way I could be a part of this…When they hear the facts they’ll know. They’ll know there is no way I could be a part of this'”
In describing the interview, Schaap said he found Te’o to be “very believable.”
Te’o did address inconsistencies in which his father claims Te’o met “Lennay Kekua” in person. Te’o explained that when he left his house to meet Lennay in Hawaii that she never showed up. So rather than face the embarrassment of discussing the situation with his parents, he just told them she did show up.
Te’o also admits misleading people about meeting Lennay because he “knew how crazy it would sound if he felt this deeply about somebody he had never met.”
According to Te’o, the relationship only intensified in recent months, after she claimed to have come out of coma following a car accident in mid-May. If true, that would mean their relationship lasted four months before she faked her death in September.
Te’o also told Schaap that he tried on several occasions to communicate with Lennay via Skype or FaceTime, but that the other person would be in a “black box” and unviewable.
But maybe the most telling part of the interview was when Te’o showed Schaap phone messages he received from Ronaiah Tuiasosopo just two days ago in which the alleged perpetrator of the hoax is “apologizing for perpetrating this hoax on [Te’o], embarrassing him, etc.”
Te’o did reference the story in Deadspin.com. “There is one line in the Deadspin story,” said Te’o. “One of the sources said I’m 80 per cent certain that Manti was in on this…No [I was never in on this], never…Never, Not ever.”
Here is Jeremy Schaap talking about the interview…
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.