manti te'o

Dr. Phil Books First Interview With Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend

Manti T'eo #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish keeps an eye on the game against the BYU Cougars at Notre Dame Stadium on October 20, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated BYU 17-14.
Manti Te’o. Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Now that Katie Couric has conducted her somewhat painful chat with Manti Te’o, it’s time to move on to perhaps the second-most important figure in his bizarre, Catfish-esque saga: Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the Te’o family friend who created Lennay Kekua, the Notre Dame player’s fake, dead long-distance girlfriend. A spokesman has confirmed that Dr. Phil McGraw nabbed the first interview with Tuiasosopo, which TMZ learned already took place in Los Angeles on Thursday. 

If TMZ’s “sources very close to Ronaiah” can be believed, viewers can expect some pretty revealing, Dr. Phil-mediated insights into a his psyche. Apparently, Tuiasosopo — a repressed young man who struggled to “adapt to the expectations of his culture” — channeled his “intense feelings” for T’eo through an online female persona, and eventually turned to help from his family (including his cousin Tino) to help keep his fantasy alive. No air date has yet been announced.

Dr. Phil Books First Te’o Hoaxster Interview