Was the voice on the phone in the Manti Te’o story Ronaiah Tuiasosopo or his female cousin?


I’m sort of over the whole Manti Te’o situation. I don’t think the whole truth is being presented and I believe Manti is a little deeper down the rabbit whole than he’s admitting. But, he’s the next story to this ongoing soap opera. A lawyer for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo claimed that Tuiasosopo was the voice on the other end of conversations between Manti and “Lennay” as well as the voicemail messages. Now comes word that it was in fact a female younger cousin.

Tino Tuiasosopo convinced the Notre Dame grid star that she was the real deal, calling him at school, telling him she loved him and even sobbing hysterically when another girl answered his phone, several of the woman’s relatives said yesterday.

photo via NY Post

photo via NY Post

“Tino is the girl that Manti has been talking to all these months,” said a Tuiasosopo cousin.



So fine, Manti wasn’t duped by a male pretending to be a female. But there are still questions as to how this played out. If Tino was on the other end of all those phone calls, why are there claims Tuiasospo is “emotionally connected” to Te’o? If the previous rumor is true, that there were up to three people playing the role of “Lennay” in various phone conversations, did they provide notes for consistency? Are there legal ramifications attached to this? If not, I’m not quite understanding the need to “cover.”


Will this situation stop Manti from getting into the NFL? Nope, but it will impact his wallet. The one take away is that people want to be loved and understood. The fear of rejection- and in this case that could be several scenarios; fake Lennay to Manti, Manti to the world, Manti to himself, Ronaiah to everybody – can cause people to go far and bizarre in order to be accepted.