Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The father of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo released a statement expressing appreciation for the support his family has received from the Manti Te'o firestorm.
The story of Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend has two potentially culpable parties. One of them is Te'o, who either was the target of an elaborate hoax or was one of the creators of a horrendous lie. The other individual is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who reportedly was the person who jump-started the entire fabrication.
Tuiasosopo has yet to comment on the story. However, his father Titus, reportedly a pastor in a Southern California church, did release this post on Facebook, expressing gratitude to those who offered support for their family during these trying times:
"There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe the overwhelming love & support me & my Aiga have received today. Feels like I've been drinking from a fire hydrant. lol. Your texts, calls, emails, prayers & messages are received with a sincerely humble heart. I know so much has been splattered all over the media about my son & my family. I also know that many who were born in a manger in Bethlehem & continue to walk on water will undoubtedly express their opinions. Those of you who know us the best still love us the most. It my hope & prayer that we allow the truth to take its course, wherever that may lead. My heart goes out to Manti & the Te'o Aiga. Please allow this young man to pursue his dream without judgement. He's an amazing role model for our youth and Samoan community. I love U all from the bottom of my heart."
According to the original Deadspin story, Tuiasosopo is a family friend of Te'o, and he constructed Lennay Kekua and did all he could to keep the deception going. It remains to be seen whether Te'o was in on the hoax, whether Tuiasosopo was acting alone and duping Te'o the entire time, or if Te'o found out the truth over time but went along with the story for as long as he could before killing her off.