Ronaiah Tuiasosopo apparently served as the voice of Lennay Kekua in phone conversations with Manti Te'o, who made more than 100 phone calls over an hour with the person he thought was Kekua.
The man behind the apparent Lennay Kekua hoax apparently also served as her voice in phone conversations with Manti Te'o. According to the lawyer for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, Te'o's lengthy late-night phone conversations were, in fact, with Tuiasosopo.
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According to phone records obtained by ESPN, Te'o made more than 1,000 calls to a phone number with a 661 area code, which supposedly belonged to Kekua. More than 100 of those calls lasted for more than an hour, and now it appears he'd been talking to Tuiasosopo in each case.
Te'o actually met Tuiasosopo in person at one point, though the latter presented himself as Kekua's cousin:
MANTI TE'O: I asked [Kekua's] sister, U'i, and U'i was supposed to bring her. But they were having an event for Lennay at that time in their hometown. And she couldn't make it. So she said that Ronaiah was going to bring her. So, she brought her to the hotel, the Ritz Carlton hotel, and that's when I first met her, and that's when I first met, face-to-face, Ronaiah.
JEREMY SCHAAP: So who does this Ronaiah present himself as?
MANTI TE'O: Ronaiah presents himself as Lennay's cousin, and the older brother of this little girl, Pookah.
JEREMY SCHAAP: What communication had you had with him prior to this?
MANTI TE'O: The only communication I had with Ronaiah prior to this was he, in the beginning, when -- remember I told you when Lennay and I would talk and she'd just leave, she would talk about Ronaiah. And how she and him were like Bonnie and Clyde: That was her cousin, her favorite cousin, and since I didn't know where Lennay was, the only one I knew of that probably knew where Lennay was was Ronaiah. So I was asking him, "Do you know where your cousin went?" And he said, "Yeah, she went to Europe. Or, oh, yeah, I just saw her today, I'll tell her to contact you."
And here is Tuiasosopo's voice, for your records:
Te'o maintains that he had nothing to do with the girlfriend hoax, and this latest revelation from Tuiasosopo's lawyer appears to support that story. Te'o explained the situation to ABC's Katie Couric in a recent interview, and also justified why he perpetuated the lie that was the story of his girlfriend for a while last year.