Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged culprit behind the fake girlfriend hoax to which Notre Dame football star and Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te’o fell victim, will give his first interview in a televised appearance on the “Dr. Phil Show,” a spokesperson for the show confirmed to the Associated Press.
Information regarding the details of the interview and its air date have not been released.
Tuiasosopo is reportedly the person behind a fake online profile for Lennay Kekua, who developed a relationship with Te’o dating to 2009. The two exchanged phone calls and messages online, but never met in person.
Kekua was supposedly injured in a car accident in 2012 and later died of leukemia, according to the legend Tuiasosopo reportedly created.
Te'o then garnered national attention when it was announced his grandmother and girlfriend had died within a short time period, but he would play in Notre Dame's pending matchup with Michigan State. Te'o collected 12 tackles and broke up two passes for the Fighting Irish in that game.
Notre Dame went on to an undefeated regular season and played in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game against Alabama.
The woman whose image was used in Lennay Kekua’s online profiles, Diane O’Meara, appeared on the “Today” show Tuesday. O’Meara said she was unaware of the hoax being perpetrated with her image, but she was Facebook friends with and attended the same high school as Tuiasosopo.
Te’o appeared on Katie Couric’s show in an interview broadcast Thursday where voicemails left by the linebacker’s “girlfriend” were played. The voice on the tapes reportedly belongs to Tuiasosopo.