Dr. Phil: Hoax mastermind fell 'deeply, romantically in love' with Te'o
After his lengthy interview with the mastermind of the fake girlfriend hoax against Manti Te’o, Dr. Phil McGraw believes Ronaiah Tuiasosopo genuinely fell in love with the Notre Dame star linebacker during the course of the two-year deception.
“Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love,’’ McGraw told NBC’s Mike Taibbi in a segment that aired on TODAY Wednesday. “I asked him straight up, ‘Was this a romantic relationship with you?’ And he says yes. I said, ‘Are you then therefore gay?’ And he said, ‘When you put it that way, yes.’ And then he caught himself and said, ‘I am confused.’’’
In a two-part interview that will air Thursday and Friday on the “Dr. Phil’’ show, Tuiasosopo describes Te’o as an innocent victim in the hoax. The 22-year-old California man posed as Lennay Kekua, an imaginary person whose supposed death from leukemia on Sept. 12 made national headlines as part of an inspiring narrative surrounding Te’o during Notre Dame’s undefeated regular season.