Skip to comments.Analysis: Dr. Phil attempts to unravel Tuiasosopo's role in Te'o saga
Posted on 01/31/2013 4:33:58 PM PST by Colofornian
Of course it ended in a cliffhanger -- and also raised more questions than it put to bed.
As the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax saga entered its third week, and with America seemingly desperate to finally look away, Part I of Dr. Phil McGraw's two-part grilling of admitted hoax mastermind Ronaiah Tuiasosopo turned out to be largely an appetizer for Part 2.
The Dr. Phil show ended Thursday with McGraw confronting Tuiasosopo about the latter's assertion he was the actual voice of Lennay Kekua. Kekua is the character Tuiasosopo created and Te'o purportedly fell in love with, through on-line contact and phone calls, during his senior season as an All-America linebacker at Notre Dame.
Thursday the story line veered as far from the football field as it has since Deadspin.com first introduced it on Jan. 16 with a media feeding frenzy following. Deadspin also strongly suggested Te'o was a part of the deception, a notion Tuiasosopo became the latest to vehemently deny.
Te'o had provided Katie Couric tapes of voice mails from the Kekua character, which Couric played on air when he was a guest on Couric's own daytime talk show, Katie, on Jan. 24.
The New York Post last week reported that a female cousin of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, Tino Tuiasosopo, was the person who was Kekua's voice in the phone calls. Tuiasosopo's lawyer, however, told the New York Daily News last week that his client was the voice of Kekua.
A week later, McGraw played the same tapes, then told Tuiasosopo, "I think it's important for people to see the voice control and see you speak in the female voice."
"I can't even if I tried," Tuiasosopo responded. "There's a whole lot that went into pushing me to do that, to go to that extreme consistently. And for me to just do it like -- can you do the voice? -- Even if I try, it just doesn't come out right."
McGraw then told Tuiasosopo that he contacted private contractors that do voice work for the FBI and the Secret Service.
"I gave them that voice mail," McGraw said. "And I gave them your voice. And I had them do a highly scientific spectra analysis of our voice and score them both. They looked at everything from voice intonation to tonal qualities."
The voices are scored on a scale from 0 to 100, with anything 60 and above constituting a match. Tuiasosopo's voice scored a 16 in the analysis.
"They said the chance that you were the person on that voicemail is like 1 in 10 million," McGraw said, "that it is not you, not even possible. You're telling me that you're telling the truth and I'm telling you that the best scientific analysis in the world is saying that it is not. I say, 'Just do the voice.' "
"I've never done it in front of people," Tuiasosopo said. "Ever single time I've ever spoken that voice, I was never by people. I was in dark room away from people."
Part II, which airs Friday at 3 p.m., locally on WSBT-TV, picks up at that point.
Among the other ground covered in Thursday's show:
* Tuiasosopo denied he assumed the Kekua identity to get money from Te'o.
"I didn't ask (Te'o) him for anything," he said. "I didn't ask him for money. I didn't ask him for, not even an autograph. I didn't ask for anything.
"I never wanted anything, and that's what really hurt. To read all these different reports about how I had done this, not just to maliciously attack and hurt him but to read that I was trying to do it to take money from him. He knows for a fact that that's not true."
* Tuiasosopo said the only time he met Te'o in person was the weekend of the Nov. 24 ND-USC game in Los Angeles, and that he almost told the linebacker the truth at that meeting.
"I met him at their hotel, at the team hotel," he said. "Myself and my little sister went to visit him. I wanted to tell him everything right then and there, and that's the truth. But shortly after, his uncle and a lot of his uncle's friends and some other family, they all came in. I was just like, 'it wasn't the right time.' "
*Tuiasosopo said he developed romantic feelings for Te'o.
"Of course, it's very shameful and very painful to even talk about," Tuiasosopo said. "Even now, it's hard to talk about. But the truth of it is, is that happened. I grew feelings. I grew emotions that, sooner or later, I couldn't control anymore. And it just lingered on.
"When I tried to end things, I tried every other way to end this. I tried this lie and this lie and this lie, but nothing would work."
When asked by McGraw if Tuiasosopo is gay, the latter responded, "Honestly if you look at this situation and look at everything that I've been through, of course, you'd say, I would say, 'Yeah, I'm gay.'
"But honestly, I'm so confused. I'm so lost and I'm just finding me. And this whole experience and all these problems are introduc-ing me to myself through everything.
"But what you know is you did have romantic feelings for another man?" McGraw pressed.
"Yes," Tuiasosopo said. "You've heard of recovering drug addicts. It takes a lot of courage to stand and say that. To recover from homosexuality and this type of thing -- not just that -- but coming back to your real life, as hard of a task it is, I'm going to do all that I can to live right."
* Why did Tuiasosopo choose cancer as the vehicle to end the relationship?
"There were a lot of reasons why cancer played into this," he said. "Again, when people were saying it was a cruel joke -- Cruel true. Joke never.
"It was never intended as a joke. It was never to be funny, but in this situation, I was just trying to do everything to end it, 'cause I knew no matter what, it just wasn't right and it was never going to be."
* Tuiasosopo went into a winding story when asked why he chose a time frame so close to Te'o's grandma's death to kill off the Lennay character. He said Te'o and Kekua had broken up and were arguing when Tuiasosopo said Te'o told Kekua of the grandmother's passing.
"He went on further and said, 'No I don't need you,' " Tuiasosopo related.
"Was this retaliatory? Were you angry? Is this why you killed her off?" McGraw said.
"I've given so much into this, and I realized right then in that moment that I poured so much into Lennay that I, myself, wasn't getting nothing, and look what I was left with," Tuiasosopo said.
"I was crying that morning. I was hurt emotionally. Just all kinds of things just took over. And so right then and there, I made the decision I can't do this Lennay thing anymore, and I ended it."
Tuiasosopo said he contacted Te'o as Lennay (on Dec. 6) to further the truth.
"I felt like even if we ended this and we moved on with our lives and this wasn't brought back up and the truth wasn't known, that we wouldn't be truly moving on," Tuiasosopo said. "It just wasn't the truth, Right then and there I knew I needed to come clean and make everything right."
" 'Catfish' refers to people who assume an identity and mislead them and defraud them," McGraw said. "Catfish, they never come clean. They never connect and try to square things up. But you did. Why did you need to come clean?
"As a person," Tuiasosopo responded, "I just felt like in my own life, before I could do anything or go any further I had to come clean."
Staff writer Eric Hansen: firstname.lastname@example.org 574-235-6112
Manti Te'o is Lds.
And just as Te'o was gullible to this girlfriend hoax, it wasn't the first time in his life that he'd been deeply hoaxed.
Why, if you could just talk to Joseph Smith now -- and actually were able to get the "straight scoop" from him re: Mormonism -- all Mormons "relationally active" with Smith's made-up religion would find out that, it, too was a hoax from Ground Zero.
Nothing like the credibility of Dr.Phil . . . a big tall, overweight psychologist who sells diet books and gets away with it.
I bet liberal heads were exploding. I thought all gays were "born that way" and had a "gay gene" and could never change!
I got to think that the Notre Dame sports empire is somehow behind the scheme. They wanted one of theirs to win the Heisman in a bad way. What are the chances that your Grandma and girlfriend die the same day. Maybe the sports hierarchy thought they could get away with it like they thought they could cover up a coach banging boys in the shower. But isn’t telling phony stories the way the Catholic Church did it to cover up the pedophile priests?
Te’o lied even after he found out the truth.
He continued to say “his mormon faith carried him through”, even after he found out the truth.
He lied, continued to lie.
What I find amazing is how many people makes excuses for the guy.
He lied, he got caught and my guess will never pay any cost for his lies.
One, or perhaps two gay cousins sounds more plausible to me.
(I guess you’re rather intolerant of my religious expressions; last time I heard, “intolerance” was just another word for “bigot”; alleged physician, heal thyself)
So it’s ok for you that he lied and continued to lie even after everyone found out the truth, because you have some sort of angst against the poster of the thread.
Are you able to address the issue - a guy lied, he got caught - he continued to lie.
Show me where I said it was “OK”.
No, I’m intolerant of your bigotry. Got a problem with that, bigot?
I’m waiting for the new show: The Dr. Phil and Montel Show ... LA’s newest freak show.
(full disclosure - I'm a Purdue fan)
Problem? No. You're free to be intolerant of whoever and whatever their beliefs/religious expressions you want. ('Tis a FreeRepublic ya know!)
Just don't try to excuse yourself from whatever labels you're tossing out when you're so "bigoted" -- intolerant -- of select religious expressions.
Apparently, your focus is not on the lie.....pretty much says it all.
I just wondered how some Notre Dame football player’s imaginary girlfriend could be blamed on the Mormons. If this is a big deal to you, then fine.
As I said before, fine.
Whoa. We Catholics already have enough posters obsessively fixated on us. Point them towards the Irish or somewhere else.
Indeed it has!
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