SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o will be interviewed by Katie Couric, the first on-camera interview given by the All-American since news broke about the dead girlfriend hoax.|
Te'o and his parents will appear on Couric's syndicated daytime talk show Thursday. ABC News announced the interview Sunday, but gave no details as to when it will take place and where.
Te'o gave an off-camera interview with ESPN on Friday night. He insists he was the victim of the hoax, not a participant. The Heisman Trophy runner-up said he had an online romance with a woman he never met and in September was informed that the woman died from leukemia.
Te'o told ESPN that the person suspected of being the mastermind of the hoax has contacted him and apologized.
Couric, now a special correspondent for ABC News, formerly worked as the anchor for the CBS Evening News and was a co-host of NBC's Today Show.
The strange tale of Te'o apparently being duped by an elaborate hoax, pulled off by a California man, has put the Heisman Trophy finalist in national headlines — from the Wall Street Journal to TMZ. In the
The man he said apologized to him for pulling the scam, 22-year-old Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, has not spoken publicly. He and his family have decline the AP's numerous requests for interviews.
Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune in a story published Sunday that university officials decided disclosing the information about the hoax before the BCS championship in Miami would not be in the best interest of the teams or the individuals involved.
The hoax about Te'os dead girlfriend became public Wednesday when it was reported by Deadspin.com. Swarbrick held a news conference later that day to discuss what Notre Dame knew, and gave full support to Te'o. Later, Swarbrick said the family had intended to speak publicly about the hoax Jan. 21.
Brown said the university was "utterly stunned" when Te'o informed them about details of the hoax on Dec. 26 and had a "difficult time getting our arms around it."
Investigators determined the address the woman had given Te'o was real, with a house there that belonged to members of a family named Tuiasosopo, including Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
Brown said the investigators hired by Notre Dame didn't try to reach Tuiasosopo or his relatives.
The university officials told the newspaper the investigators did not examine cellphone records, emails or other electronic communication to determine the length or extent of Te'o's communication over the past few years with the person claiming to be Kekua, nor did the university ask Te'o to take a lie detector test.
The school informed Teo's parents, Brian and Ottilia, about the investigation results on Jan. 5.
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