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Manti Te’o Speaks, Says He Wasn’t Involved In Hoax

Manti Te'o, in Bradenton, Fla.

Manti Te'o, in Bradenton, Fla. training for the upcoming NFL Draft, broke his silence and spoke to ESPN's Jeremy Schaap about the fake-girlfriend hoax that has transfixed the country for the past three days. Has he answered all of our questions? No. But this is a start. Here's an excerpt:

• He lied to his father about having met Kekua, prompting his father to tell reporters that Te'o and Kekua had met. Several media stories indicated that Te'o and Kekua had met. Te'o insisted they never did.

• He tried to speak with Kekua via Skype and FaceTime on several occasions, but the person at the other end of the line was in what he called a "black box" and wasn't seen.

• He planned to meet Kekua in person several times, including in Los Angeles and Hawaii, but on each occasion she called off the meeting or sent others in her place.


• The first time he met Tuiasosopo was in Los Angeles. Notre Dame beat USC there on Nov. 24.


• A group of people connected to Tuiasosopo showed up at the team hotel, after curfew, for the Discover BCS National Championship Game in Miami. Te'o said he knew they were at the hotel because the group took photos in the hotel lobby. Someone in the group called Te'o, saying they were waiting for Kekua to join them in the lobby and asking if she was with him. Te'o then hung up. Te'o said it did not affect his play in the game, where Notre Dame lost to Alabama 42-14.

• Te'o was never asked for money during the plot, but Kekua once requested his checking account number in order to send him money. Te'o did not provide his account number.