Manti Te'o interview: ESPN releases edited transcript

US PRESSWIRE

ESPN released an edited transcript of Jeremy Schaap's interview with Manti Te'o, revealing more bizarre details regarding Te'o's relationship with Lennay Kekua.

An edited transcript of Manti Te'o's interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap provides more details of Teo's bizarre relationship with the fictitious Lennay Kekua.

Unsurprisingly, Te'o maintained that his online-only relationship felt natural to him, but that he did have some doubts when he started talking to Kekua. Te'o told Schaap that he reached out to his cousin and to Oregon State quarterback Lyle Moevao -- and both confirmed to Te'o that Kekua was real. According to Te'o, Moevao told Te'o, "she's kind of weird, but she's real."

Throughout the course of the relationship, Te'o was under the impression that Kekua not only was a Stanford alumnus, but also the owner of Clark's Construction -- a construction business in Los Angeles. Te'o believed Kekua took over the business after her father passed away, helping her siblings run the construction company her father once owned.

Te'o revealed that he told his mother of the hoax on Christmas Eve -- even though he knew weeks in advance that Kekua was, at the least, still alive. Te'o then told his father on Christmas day, and decided that Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly should be notified of the hoax.

Te'o called Kelly and told him the story over the phone. Kelly's initial reaction is as puzzling as the entire story.

JEREMY SCHAAP: So you tell Kelly. First you tell your D-coordinator, then you tell Kelly. What was the conversation like Brian Kelly?

MANTI TE'O: Coach Kelly just said she's dead. That's how we're going to go about it. She's dead. When you come in, we'll talk about it. That's all he said.

Yes, Notre Dame's head coach told Te'o that they're going to continue to operate as if Kekua is dead. At least, until Kelly, Te'o and other Notre Dame personnel had a chance to talk about how to handle the situation in person.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and Kelly met with Te'o on Dec. 27 (or 28), and informed Te'o that they were launching an investigation into the matter. Te'o answered some basic questions, and was never interviewed again by Notre Dame personnel regarding Kekua.

It's unlikely that the full truth will ever be known, and even though Te'o provided Schaap with a lot of information, there are still more questions than answers in this bizarre story.

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