Manti Te’o says he never spoke with Notre Dame investigator about hoax
BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN firstname.lastname@example.org January 19, 2013 11:32PM
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o
Updated: February 21, 2013 6:57AM
Manti Te’o never was interviewed by an investigator hired by Notre Dame because the hoax involving a nonexistent girlfriend unraveled quickly, university officials said Saturday.
Te’o told ESPN late Friday that he hadn’t been interviewed by the investigator.
‘‘The investigator, all she asked was just for a picture and any evidence that I had,’’ Te’o said in the off-camera interview, according to an edited transcript. ‘‘She never interviewed me again.’’
The independent investigation began Jan. 2. By Jan. 4, the university had ‘‘an oral report from the investigator providing us with the information on the ‘catfish’ scheme and the perpetrators,’’ school spokesman Dennis Brown said.
‘‘The ‘catfish’ scheme and those responsible for it were discovered so quickly that there was no need for an interview with Manti, though that would have been the next step had nothing turned up,’’ Brown said in an email. ‘‘The
investigator’s work has been verified by media reports and the confession this week of the principal participant.’’
Te’o also told ESPN he was not in on the scam and said he was the target of an elaborate online hoax in which he fell for a woman who never existed.
Meanwhile, the leader of Te’o’s Mormon church in Indiana said Te’o is trying to move on from the bizarre situation.
‘‘He’s doing fine; he’s trying to put this behind him,’’ said Jim Carrier, the bishop of the Notre Dame ward of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. ‘‘He feels he’s talked and laid out everything that’s happened and his involvement in it. He’s told all the truth and feels now he can move on with his life and focus on the NFL combine.’’
Contributing: Neil Hayes