- (PHOTO) Twitter: @RonaiahTuiasoso
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged mastermind behind the Manti Te'o hoax scandal, recently sat down for an interview with Dr. Phil, it has been revealed.
During an appearance on the "Today" show Wednesday, Dr. Phil appeared to confirm rumors surrounding Tuiasosopo's sexuality. The boy posed a woman in an internet relationship which lasted several months, and confessed to being in love with Manti Te'o. Te'o, the University of Notre Dame linebacker, believed Tuiasosopo was a woman, according to TMZ.
"Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love," Dr. Phil said of Ronaiah during his appearance on "Today." "I ask him straight up ... was this a romantic relationship with you? And he says, 'Yes.'"
Te'o, 21, recently made national headlines after it was revealed on Jan. 16 that his supposedly dead girlfriend, Stanford student Lennay Kekua, never actually existed.
The Heisman Trophy finalist had cried to media outlets claiming that he suffered the loss of both his grandmother and Kekua within the span of one day in September, drawing public sympathy. However, it was eventually revealed to be a hoax. Critics had initially suspected that Te'o knowingly played a role in the hoax for sympathy.
"I wasn't faking it ... I wasn't part of this," Te'o recently told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap during an off-camera interview. "Two guys and a girl are responsible for the whole thing. I don't know. According to Ronaiah, Ronaiah's one."
Dr. Phil allegedly spent hours with Tuiasosopo and his family at the request of the young man's psychiatrist and he acknowledged that the California native has deep rooted issues.
"Ronaiah had a number of life experiences that damaged this young man is some very serious ways," Dr Phil said.
Te'o, whose long-term relationship with Kekua only ever occurred online, was reportedly equally as shocked as the public when it was revealed that she never existed. Kekua was eventually revealed to be Diane O'Meara, a 23-year-old California marketing executive, who has never met Te'o. She is said to be shaken after learning that she was reportedly the victim of identity theft.