The Manti Te’o hoax story continues to get weirder by the day.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, Manti Te’o, who thought he was talking to a female (Lennay Kekua), was really chatting it up with the man behind the entire hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
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.”
“This wasn’t a prank to make fun,” Grimes told The News. “It was establishing a communication with someone. … It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship.”
ESPN reported that Te’o made 1,000 phone calls and spent over 500 hours talking to the same person in the 661 area code of Lancaster, Los Angeles County. Ronaiah, who has yet to make a public statement, is the one singing in the video above. Te’o’s interview with Katie Couric will air today at 4 pm.