The man who orchestrated an elaborate hoax, duping Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o into believing he had a girlfriend that didn't exist, was the same person Te'o had lengthy conversations with on the phone pretending to be a woman.
The New York Daily News reports Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who conjured this startling work of deception and acquired the photo of female friend Diane O'Meara, pretended to be Lennay Kekua over the phone, Te'o's non-existent girlfriend.
Tuiasosopo, the paper reports, has vocal and dramatic training. His lawyer confirmed to the Daily News that he was the person Te'o had been speaking to for numerous hours.
"[Te'o] thought it was a female he was talking with, lawyer Milton Grimes told the Daily News. It was Ronaiah as Lennay.
Tuiasosopo took photos from O'Meara's Facebook page to bolster the hoax.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer