Posted January 24, 2013

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was voice on phone impersonating Lennay Kekua

NCAAF
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is the man behind the voice of Lennay Kekua and had hundreds of phone calls with Manti Te'o.  (J. Meric/Getty Images)

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is the man behind the voice of Lennay Kekua and had hundreds of phone calls with Manti Te’o. (J. Meric/Getty Images)

Just when it seemed like the Manti Te’o saga had taken every twist and turn possible, there’s a new development to make it all the more dizzying.

The New York Daily News reported on Thursday that the lawyer for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the mastermind behind the hoax, said that his client was the voice impersonating Lennay Kekua. According to phone records, Te’o had spent hundreds of phone calls, many that lasted more than an hour, with the woman he believed to be Kekua:

The Heisman Trophy finalist “thought it was a female he was talking with,” lawyer Milton Grimes acknowledged to the Daily News. “It was Ronaiah as Lennay. [C]ome on, Hollywood does it all the time. People can do that.”

The résumé of Tuiasosopo, 22, includes vocal and dramatic training. He was also president of the drama club at his high school, a member of a Christian rock band and had auditioned for the TV talent show, “The Voice” in 2012.  Footage of him performing can be seen in a YouTube video he posted in June 2011. The photos of Kekua were instead pictures that had been taken off the Facebook page of Diane O’Meara, a high school classmate of Tuiasosopo, who reportedly had no knowledge of the hoax.

Grimes said his client wasn’t trying to prank Te’o, rather he was reaching out with the hope of establishing a connection with someone to form a relationship:

“This wasn’t a prank to make fun. It was establishing a communication with someone. [I]t was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship.”

Tuiasosopo is currently seeing a mental health professional and plans on coming forward with his own side of the story, though Grimes would not give a timetable for this interview. He also said that Te’o finding out about Kekua’s death hours after his grandmother had passed away was merely a coincidence.

In an interview with Katie Couric set to air today, Te’o said he found out almost three months after Kekua’s death that she’s still alive and that he was going to be put on national television two days later.

“This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12. Now I get a phone call on Dec. 5, saying that she’s alive and then I’m going to be put on national TV two days later.”


23 comments
jarob54
jarob54

Is this fellow Te'o playing with a full deck?

akattack
akattack like.author.displayName 1 Like

This stuff is going all 'Crying Game,' really quickly.

Thomas19
Thomas19

Cue Steven Tyler: "Dude sounds like a lady!"

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

Teo's story changes more often than a traffic light. Why should I believe version 4.183 when all the others were wrong?

Thomas19
Thomas19 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I think the person on the phone was was Elvis. Or Jimmy Hoffa.

ralph6
ralph6 like.author.displayName 1 Like

it wouldn't surprise me at this point ..if te'o turns out to be a unicorn.

Miznoone
Miznoone

The love that dare not speak its name.  They should both just come out of the closet and spare themselves all the lies and misdirection. Manti could blaze a trail for gay football players.

Just Rockwell
Just Rockwell

So he wanted to establish a relationship, so he pretended to be a female who has a relationship with a man????

pandah462
pandah462

Ew.  Hopefully they didn't have more explicit conversations.

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Manti you are an inspiration, dead or  alive,man or woman , real or not whats the difference love is love its the thought that counts. Stop  picking on the guy everybody. people can be so cruel

SamNitrile
SamNitrile

OMG...WTF? Manti is probably barfing all over the place. I don't get it, of all things this stupid lawyer shares...it is this...to make things worse...what the f....seriously...this announcement seems very calculated on their part...what is the intention...what are they waiting for...to ruin Manti even more...no integrity...

pandah462
pandah462

 @SamNitrile Jesus, learn how to end a sentence with a period instead of ellipses.  English amateur.

SamNitrile
SamNitrile

 @pandah462  @SamNitrile I am not here to impress others with my english and grammar... so .... moving along.... the only thing I have learned from this whole story, is how ignorant most americans are.  No wonder our country is going downhill.. brains the size of peas.....

pandah462
pandah462

 @CarlEdwardJansen  Use "you are ignorant" rather than "you were ignorant."  You wouldn't want to think that Sam is no longer ignorant, would you?  I doubt he has progressed that far in such a short amount of time.

pandah462
pandah462

 @SamNitrile 1. You certainly aren't impressing anyone with anything.  2. One part of why "our country is going downhill" is due to rampant idiocy, which you seem to embody with your poor grasp of the English language.  3. You realize that "americans" does, at least logistically speaking, include people outside of the US?  I'm sure Central and South Americans would be displeased with your blanket generalization.

 

I think your biggest gripe is the fact that you're going to have to be a lot more careful when you're trolling the interweb for new romances.  You may be thinking back to past flames and wondering whether or not they were real, male or female.

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

 @SamNitrile

 HAHA...you started an account just to express your shock that Manti might be gay? A lot of other posters already suspected that...

pandah462
pandah462

 @JackWilliams  HAHA...you still felt compelled to express your shock and state a common theme that you chided the original poster for even though you though his efforts were foolish...