Woman in Manti Te’o fake girlfriend photo speaks out
ASSOCIATEd PRESS January 22, 2013 12:01PM
In a photo provided by ESPN, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o pauses during an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, right, on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. ESPN says Te'o maintains he was never involved in creating the dead girlfriend hoax. He said in the off-camera interview: "When they hear the facts they'll know. They'll know there is no way I could be a part of this." (AP Photo/ESPN Images, Ryan Jones) MANDATORY
Updated: January 23, 2013 8:59AM
NEW YORK — The woman whose photo was used as the “face” of the Twitter account of Manti Te’o’s supposed girlfriend says the man allegedly behind the hoax confessed and apologized to her.
Diane O’Meara told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo used pictures of her without her knowledge in creating a fake woman called Lennay Kekua. Te’o asserts he was tricked into an online romance with Kekua and, until last week, believed she died of leukemia in September.
O’Meara went to high school in California with Tuiasosopo, but she says they’re not close. He called to apologize Jan. 16, the day Deadspin.com broke the hoax story, she said.
“I don’t think there’s anything he could say to me that would fix this,” said O’Meara, a 23-year-old marketing executive in Los Angeles.
O’Meara said she had never had any contact with Te’o, and that for five years, Tuiasosopo “has literally been stalking my Facebook and stealing my photos.”
Tuiasosopo has not spoken publicly since the news broke. His family has said they may speak out this week.