Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o
has denied rumors that he could be gay.
Te'o is finally talking about the
bizarre hoax that fooled him into believing that the girl of his
dreams had died of cancer. In fact, the woman known as Lennay Kekua
The story inspired countless fans as
Te'o went on to lead his team to victory just hours after learning of
the death of his grandmother and girlfriend.
In his first videotaped interview,
Te'o, who has said his love affair took place online, told Katie
Couric that he was the victim of an elaborate hoax.
Couric grilled the 21-year-old devout
Mormon on some of the hoax's red flags.
On why he never could see Kekua during
video chats, Couric asked: “Are you that technologically
And she also confronted Te'o about why
he spoke about Kekua's death at a Heisman Trophy ceremony two days
after he received a call from the woman he thought was dead telling
“That's a lie. Why would you say
“To be honest with you, I did not
know,” Te'o answered.
“You stuck to the script and you knew
that something was amiss, Manti,” she pressed.
“Katie, put yourself in my situation.
My whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew
that. The girl who I committed myself to died on Sept. 12. Now I
get a phone call on Dec. 6 saying that she's alive and that I'm going
to be put on national TV two days later and to ask me the same
question. You know, what would you do?”
A rumor that quickly gained steam on
social media and radio talk shows was that Te'o had created the story
of a fake girlfriend as cover for his sexuality.
“Are you gay?” Couric asked.
“No. Far from it. Faaaar from
that,” he answered with a nervous laugh.
the exchange at CNN.)