Manti Te’o sat down with Oprah today and confessed to being in on the “girlfriend” hoax.
Te’o confessed to the hoax during an interview with Oprah Winfrey taped Thursday, just ten hours after Deadspin.com broke the story of Manti’s fake girlfriend. Jack Swarbrick of the University of Notre Dame told reporters yesterday that Manti was a victim of the hoax.
But Manti reportedly told Oprah that he was in on the scam all along. “I didn’t want the distraction of having a girlfriend while playing football and so many girls were coming on to me, it was easier to make up a girlfriend. And then I needed a little emotional boost for the Michigan State game, so me and my friends decided to announce that she died, but we didn’t think it would become such a big story. I’m really sorry.”
The day ended with 2½ hours of questions from Winfrey at a Miami hotel, where one of the nation’s top NFL draft prospects is training for the NFL combine.
Speaking on “CBS This Morning,” Winfrey said Tuesday she had not planned to address Manti’ confession before the interview aired on her OWN network but, “by the time I left Miami and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it.”
Manti reportedly apologized to the Notre Dame family, to all college football players, and to God. “I lied. I’m sorry,” he reportedly said.
Oprah told WWN that the interview with Manti was “beyond emotional” and that she felt sorry for Manti. “I hope he finds a real girlfriend one day. One that he doesn’t meet online. He’s a good man.”
Manti also told Oprah that he has joined OK Cupid and is looking for his next girlfriend.