Manti Te’o‘s interview with Katie Couric won’t air on “Katie” until Jan. 24, but for now enough of the interview has been released to tell those following the Notre Dame football player’s story one important fact: He knew he was duped. Te’o says he lied — albeit briefly — during his interview with Couric in a snippet that can be seen above.
According to Te’o, he legitimately thought his girlfriend Lennay Kekua died on Sept. 12. It wasn’t until December that he learned that Kekua was not who she thought he was, and in fact never existed.
“Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that,” Te’o says. “This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12. Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she’s alive and then I’m going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?”
Te’o’s father, Brian Te’o, stands up for his son in the interview. When the fact that Te’o is being called a liar was brought up, Brian responds, “People can speculate about what they think he is. I’ve known him 21 years of his life. And he’s not a liar. He’s a kid.”