New details have emerged in the Manti Te'o controversy, as Ronaiah Tuiasosopo had reportedly told a friend in December that he was behind the girlfriend hoax.
As the controversy surrounding Manti Te'o and his fake girlfriend evolves, more strange details are emerging. The latest: Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted to duping Te'o -- and others -- to a church friend, according to ESPN's Shelley Smith.
According to Tuiasosopo's friend, a female who anonymously spoke to Outside the Lines, Te'o was nothing more than a victim in the hoax. She also said Tuiasosopo admitted that Te'o was not the only person on whom he had played that type of hoax:
"He (Ronaiah) told me that Manti was not involved at all, he was a victim. ... The girlfriend was a lie, the accident was a lie, the leukemia was a lie," said the woman. "He was crying, he was literally crying, he's like 'I know, I know what I have to do.'
"It's not only Manti, but he was telling me that it's a lot of other people they had done this to."
In addition to Tuiasosopo's anonymous friend, Outside the Lines interviewed two people, J.R. Vaosa and Celeste Tuioti-Mariner, who said they had the same hoax played on them by Tuiasosopo:
"When Lennay said she was gonna be at this park one day, we'd go to the park and Ronaiah pops up and then we go to the gym in Orange County where the kids have volleyball tournaments, Ronaiah's there," Vaosa said.
Te'o became a popular figure in college football this season, partly because of his play on the field, but also because of his story off the field. His grandmother died on Sept. 11, and his girlfriend, who we now know did not exist, died the next day. The story turned Te'o into an inspirational figure and helped propel him to a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist.