In the Manti Te’o-girlfriend hoax saga, the Notre Dame linebacker was on the other line with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo during every phone call, Tuiasosopo’s lawyer told the New York Daily News.
Lawyer Milton Grimes said the scam mastermind had Te’o believing "it was a female he was talking with."
Tuiasosopo played the role of Te’o’s online girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, which ended up being a total hoax.
“This wasn’t a prank to make fun,” Grimes told The News. “It was establishing a communication with someone. … It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship.”
Audio of voicemails left by Kekau on Te’o’s phone were obtained by Deadspin.com on Thursday. Deadspin claimed to get the audio from Katie Couric’s show, "Katie," which Te’o appeared on. However, the link to the Couric site fails. In the audio on Deadspin, Tuiasosopo convincingly sounds like a woman.
Grimes went on to say that it was not the time to comment on his client’s intentions or issues.
Grimes still stands by Tuiasosopo, believing that he is a good man.
“He’s torn by this,” Grimes said. “He didn’t mean for anyone to be hurt. Anything that he has done, he has apologized to those he could apologize to.”