Manti Te'o Hoaxster Says Feelings for Linebacker Are 'Romantic': Dr. Phil (Video)
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo says he is deeply in love with Manti Te'o, according to Phil McGraw, who scored an exclusive interview with the infamous "catfish"-er.
Tuiasosopo -- the man who orchestrated an elaborate hoax that led star Notre Dame linebacker Te'o to believe he was carrying on a doomed relationship with a woman he'd never met -- has spoken out for the first time since the bizarre controversy made headlines around the world.
In a taped interview with the talk show therapist scheduled to air this week on consecutive episodes of Dr. Phil, Tuiasosopo says the charade began online two years ago, and the stakes only grew higher as Te'o's star rose in the world of college football.
"I had to start just living and let this go," Tuiasosopo tells McGraw.
"Here we have a young man who fell deeply, romantically in love," McGraw tells NBC's Today, who on Wednesday devoted a segment to the interview. "I ask him straight up, 'Was this a romantic relationship with you. Are you then, therefore, gay?' He says, 'Well, when you put it that way, yes. I am confused.' "
In the interview, Tuiasosopo also echoes his attorney Milton Grimes' claims that Tuiasosopo was the voice of "Lennay Kekua," the fictional woman with whom Te'o fell in love, whom he was later led to believe died of leukemia.
This despite a report from the New York Post alleging the voice actually belonged to Ronaiah's cousin, Tino Tuiasosopo.