Online Extra: Woman in Te’o fake girlfriend photo speaks out
NEW YORK (AP) — The woman whose photo was used as the “face” of the Twitter account of Manti Te’o’s supposed girlfriend says the man allegedly behind the hoax confessed and apologized to her.
Diane O’Meara told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo used pictures of her without her knowledge in creating a fake woman called Lennay Kekua. Te’o asserts he was tricked into an online romance with Kekua and, until last week, did not understand he was being hoaxed.
O’Meara went to high school in California with Tuiasosopo, but she says they’re not close. He called to apologize Jan. 16, the day Deadspin.com broke the hoax story, she said.
“I don’t think there’s anything he could say to me that would fix this,” said O’Meara, a 23-year-old marketing executive in Los Angeles.
O’Meara said she had never had any contact with Te’o, and that for five years, Tuiasosopo “has literally been stalking my Facebook and stealing my photos.”
Tuiasosopo has not spoken publicly since the news broke. His family has said they may speak out this week.
Te’o did an off camera interview with ESPN last week and is scheduled to appear on appear with his parents on Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show Thursday.
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