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Diane O'Meara, Face of Manti Te'o Girlfriend Hoax, Speaks Out (VIDEO)

'It's A Very Twisted and Confusing Scenario,' 23-Year-Old Says

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By Daniel Distant , Christian Post Reporter
January 23, 2013|9:35 am

Diane O'Meara, the face of Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend, has broken her silence about the hoax and the "bizarre" circumstances since the story was uncovered. The 23-year-old marketing executive didn't even know who Te'o was until the story broke, but she did explain how her pictures became part of the strange story.

  • Diane
    (PHOTO) Twitter: @dianeomeara
    Diane O'Meara has become the victim of identity theft in the Manti Te'o fake girlfriend scandal

"It's very bizarre, and it's a very twisted and confusing scenario," she told "Today" Tuesday. "I've never met Manti Te'o in my entire life. I've never spoken with him. I've never exchanged words, tweets (with him)."

Diane O'Meara revealed that a high school classmate, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, used her likeness to perpetrate the hoax. For years, the aspiring singer and former "The Voice" contestant stole her photos to make Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o believe he was in a long distance relationship with the fictional Lennay Kekua.

"The past five years, Tuiasosopo has literally been stalking my Facebook and stealing my photos," O'Meara said.

In December, before Deadspin broke the story, the 22-year-old Tuiasosopo messaged O'Meara asking for one of her photos. He claimed his cousin had been in a car accident and had requested one of her photos because she looked pretty. She had not spoken to Tuiasosopo in years, but obliged anyway. The photo became part of the hoax, according to Today News.

Now, though, Tuiasosopo seems to be trying to make amends. He admitted to his part in the hoax, Te'o told ESPN in an off-air interview, and O'Meara said he apologized for what he did.

"Ronny has called and not only confessed, but he has also apologized," she said. "I don't think there's anything he could say to me that would fix this."

Meanwhile, Tuiasosopo's family is preparing for Ronaiah to explain to the press exactly how and when he was involved in the hoax. Although O'Meara and Te'o have said he was involved, he himself has not commented publicly.

"We want to do it right," Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, Ronaiah's uncle, told CBS News. He revealed that the family was meeting about how to approach the situation and hired a lawyer. They have not admitted to the hoax or Ronaiah's involvement, though.

"I've been practicing how to say 'no comment' in 20 languages," Titus Tuiasosopo, Ronaiah's father and pastor at Oasis Christian Church, told his congregation.

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