Te'o to appear on 'Katie' Thursday
Manti Te'o will appear on Katie Couric's daytime show Thursday in his first televised appearance since news broke that the woman he said was his girlfriend, who had died, did not exist.
Te'o, a Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist, will be flanked by his parents, Brian and Ottilia Te'o, on Couric's syndicated talk show, "Katie," in an attempt to explain the bizarre hoax that he claimed not to have been a part of.
The sports website Deadspin.com reported last Wednesday that Lennay Kekua, who Te'o said was his girlfriend that died after a long bout with leukemia, was not real and appeared to be a hoax perpetuated by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a man that sources told Deadspin was a Te'o family friend.
Te'o had talked about Kekua in interviews during the college football season but said he had no part in the fabrication and said in a statement that he was the victim of a "sick joke."
"When they hear the facts, they'll know," Te'o told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap last week in his only media interview so far since the story broke. "They'll know that there is no way that I could be a part of this. I was fully committed to someone who is not real. Who is not what they said they were. I don't know what to say of it," Te'o said to Schaap.
Te'o has hired publicist Matthew Hiltzik, who also is a spokesman for Couric, according to The New York Times.