Manti Te’o briefly lied to the media and the public after discovering his online girlfriend did not exist and was a part of an elaborate hoax, he admitted in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Katie Couric. The star Notre Dame linebacker, who has been hounded by the reporters since the story broke Jan. 16, told Couric in a taped interview Tuesday that he was not lying up until December. Te’o said he was duped into believing his online girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died of cancer. “You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti,” Couric said. Te’o found out that Kekua was a hoax on Dec. 6, but on Dec. 8 he again publicly mentioned his girlfriend. The remark came as Te’o was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, the award for the best college football player in the country. Te’o was eventually a runner-up for the trophy. “Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12,” Te’o said. “Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she’s alive and then I’m going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?” Te’o said.
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