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Te’o’s uncle takes aim at Ronaiah Tuiasosopo

manti172way-bea8db171ee6908b7d7a8261693d081fc4970eb0-s6-c10 Getty Images

With linebacker Manti Te’o avoiding the media, others are filling the vacuum of silence.

One of them is Te’o’s uncle.  Alema Te’o joined 97.5 The Zone in Salt Lake City on Thursday to discuss the situation for more than 30 minutes.  And it quickly became clear that the Te’o family blames the hoax entirely on Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged mastermind of the fake dead girlfriend (and failed contestant on The Voice).

Alema Te’o believes that the plan was so elaborate that Tuiasosopo actually had a girl pretend to be Lennay Kekua and periodically meet with Manti.  “I wouldn’t put it past this guy to do that,” Alema Te’o said.

Manti’s uncle also explained that he had immediate suspicions about Tuiasosopo after meeting him during the 2012 football season, based on false claims Tuiasosopo made of involvement in Troy Polamalu’s football camp.  Alema Te’o specifically suspects that Tuiasosopo’s motivation was financial, apparently via raising funds for cancer-stricken folks who, you know, don’t exist.

The interview is long and at times a little hard to follow, but it’s clear after listening to the whole thing that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is the target of the Te’o family’s scorn at this point, and that Alema Te’o specifically believes that Tuiasosopo was a “shady character” who was hoping to “get close to Manti for either money or notoriety.”

“His big deal was raising money.  So I can’t help but think that this guy wanted to get close to Manti to help him get money,” Alema Te’o said.

If that’s the case, then it’s entirely possible that laws were broken.  Which would give the authorities at least a reason to investigate the situation in order to find out whether Tuiasosopo or anyone else was involved in this hoax in the hopes of raising money under false pretenses.

Meanwhile, there’s still no indication that Manti Te’o will be addressing the situation, even though Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick painted Te’o into a corner on Wednesday by saying that Te’o would be telling his story as soon as Thursday.  The longer Te’o stays silent, the more people will suspect that he had a role in the hoax.

Then again, there’s also a chance that by opening his mouth he will remove all doubt.

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26 Responses to “Te’o’s uncle takes aim at Ronaiah Tuiasosopo”
  1. mikebyrne1502 says: Jan 18, 2013 8:58 AM

    Maybe he did go to the authorities and his lawyers are telling him to keep quiet until they get all the facts themselves, ether way he’s got to say something soon people aren’t just going to forget

  2. greyhawk9 says: Jan 18, 2013 8:59 AM

    please stop the lies people….please

  3. dikshuttle says: Jan 18, 2013 9:06 AM

    I disagree.

    He needs to stay silent until all facets are released. Whether he’s innocent or guilty, any post-appearance revelations would tilt the story out of his control.

    Fascinating, though, eh?

  4. bullcharger says: Jan 18, 2013 9:08 AM

    Still BS… Manti would have wanted to Skype with her and not only look at the two false pics on facebook. He should come clean now.

  5. catquick says: Jan 18, 2013 9:10 AM

    In Tuiasosopo’s defense, not ONE of those fake cancer patients died after he collected money for their care.

  6. troysmithsghost says: Jan 18, 2013 9:11 AM

    For this version of ‘the story’ to be true, Manti Te’o still had no business telling the media about his girlfriend that died a full 2 days after later claiming to have already found out it was a hoax. Sorry, but covering for being gay from his strictly conservative religious family and his religiously conservative school still is the best explanation.

  7. troysmithsghost says: Jan 18, 2013 9:12 AM

    Never mind that the ‘real’ woman herself, who came forward in shock when she saw her own picture splashed across the television screen, has never mentioned actually meeting the guy. I don’t think Te’os family is in on this hoax, but sure as Hell Manti is.

  8. dalucks says: Jan 18, 2013 9:13 AM

    Each day, we get a step closer to Manti Teo going undrafted in the 2013 NFL draft.
    There is not a lawyer nor a public relations firm that can help him.

  9. vikesfan320 says: Jan 18, 2013 9:16 AM

    What doesn’t make any sense to me is that Te’o was supposedly ready to go public with this whole story on Monday, but yet here it is two days after the story broke and he hasn’t talked about it. He was supposed to talk about it in three days, what’s taking so long to get his story ready then?

  10. bills4 says: Jan 18, 2013 9:24 AM

    Well put! He is guilty as hell. Way too many issues!

  11. franklinandbashandflorio says: Jan 18, 2013 9:26 AM

    Bruce Willis: You see what??

    Manti: I see dead girlfriends…

  12. dabeardown says: Jan 18, 2013 9:27 AM

    This story has more holes than 3 tons of swiss cheese. So if he met a “fake” girlfriend wouldn’t he be suspicious when the picture on the news of her death is different than the girl he met? The girl was shocked to learn her picture was being used.

  13. abninf says: Jan 18, 2013 9:27 AM

    “Alema Te’o believes that the plan was so elaborate that Tuiasosopo actually had a girl pretend to be Lennay Kekua and periodically meet with Manti.”
    ====================================

    But Manti said he never actually met her. All the involved parties need to shut up, get together and get their lies straight.

  14. tatvin says: Jan 18, 2013 9:34 AM

    come on…either Manti thinks were all stupid for falling for HIS lies or he is one of the most dumbest person on earth..

  15. stigman2012 says: Jan 18, 2013 9:42 AM

    Thank god…I was seriously worried this story wasn’t going to surface today.

    Honestly, this kid was in on this stuff. If you were the victim of a hoax, you a) disclose the hoax as soon as you find out OR b) just simply claim you and the ‘girlfriend’ broke up. The ONLY reason you say ‘she died of cancer’ is to in some measure profit.

    And for the ‘gay cover up’ crowd…don’t be rediculous. If you are a football player covering up gay tendencies, you either do the Rock Hudson and date girls anyway, or you claim these long distance relationships and just keep breaking up with them, or you just keep lying on your Facebook status and your Twitter.

    If you have killed off the ‘girlfriend’ to ‘cancer’…there’s more motive than I’m afriad to exit the armoire.

  16. rtant2013 says: Jan 18, 2013 9:43 AM

    So Tuiasosopo found a girl that looked exactly like the pictures to meet with Te’o? The girl who’s picture was used already came out and said she knew nothing about it and was shocked when she saw her pics were being used. That sounds absolutely ridiculous. And if that was the case, then why has Te’o changed his story and sayed he never met her? Te’o it would be best for you to just tell your family to shut up.

  17. terrytate89 says: Jan 18, 2013 9:54 AM

    The Lyin’ Hawaiian

  18. xpensivewinos says: Jan 18, 2013 10:01 AM

    My mantra is simple: When the “love of your life” dies, you go to the funeral.

  19. h0c2000 says: Jan 18, 2013 10:32 AM

    I bet Manti longs for the days when people ridiculed him for dressing like the swamp thing.

  20. eezyxyz says: Jan 18, 2013 10:49 AM

    “Then again, there’s also a chance that by opening his mouth he will remove all doubt.”

    C’mon, there can’t still be any doubt. If Te’o was simply the victim of a con then you’re asking people to believe that a young man in love NEVER once tried to visit his dying girlfriend in hospital? Because, obviously, if he truly was just a victim of a con he would have discovered it pretty quickly as soon as he tried to do that.

  21. bigdawgdaddy says: Jan 18, 2013 11:26 AM

    42-14
    ROLL TIDE
    the SEC … REAL football & REAL girlfriends

  22. mazblast says: Jan 18, 2013 11:40 AM

    Every few hours that pass in which Te’o doesn’t face the press is more proof (in my alleged mind) that either (a) he and the university haven’t decided on The Agreed-Upon Lie and all the supporting Small Lies, or (b) he hasn’t learned his lines yet.

    Te’os uncle’s appearance on the radio is more proof that this thing is getting beyond the control of the legendary Notre Dame media relations machine. In order for The Agreed-Upon Lie to work, everyone, EVERYONE with any connection to a situation has to shut up and let the Liar-In-Chief of the situation be in control.

  23. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 18, 2013 11:46 AM

    It feels like Notre Dame is scared of being culpable or irresponsible in some way and Swarbrick is trying to pressure Te’o to confirming that he is purely a victim, that way if/when it does come out that Te’o isn’t telling the truth, then Notre Dame can claim that Te’0 was clearly lying to them the whole time. Te’o needs to consider throwing ND under the bus and focusing on solving his own problems at this point, depending on the actuality of the situation.

  24. Stiller43 says: Jan 18, 2013 12:17 PM

    Theres no chance the “love of your life” gf of THREE YEARS gets in a horrible car accident, and you dont see her…gets diagnosed with incurable cancer, and you dont see her…she never came to any of his home or away (close to her home) football games of Manti’s…And last but not least, he claimed his gf died of cancer 2 days after he said he realized it was a hoax.

    Plus his own teammate said most of the team knew it was fake, but that he liked the attention.

    He could provide his phone records stating that maybe he was actually on the phone the 8 hours a night with her…like he said he was. That would provide a little insight to wether he’s telling the truth or not. But we all know he was just soaking in the attention.

  25. pastabelly says: Jan 18, 2013 1:16 PM

    I think he is very draftable. But any team drafting him should understand than he needs pyschological counseling. His family has done him no favors and his problems are probably much deeper than being a habitual liar.

  26. robert831 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:59 PM

    Manti Te’o and Ronaiah Tuiasosopo are close friends who were trying to manipulate the public into gaining attention and sympathy. I’m sure they thought it was funny. Without question he knew she was fake, it was probably his idea to start with. These guys are idiots and I don’t want Manti on my team even with a 7th round pick.

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