According to a report from the New York Daily News, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo not only created the Lennay Kekua identity, but he also provided the female voice used to dupe Te’o.
The Daily News reports that Tuiasosopo’s lawyer, Milton Grimes, told them that Tuiasosopo was the voice behind Kekua.
According to Grimes, Te’o “thought it was a female he was talking with,” but it was really Ronaiah posing as Kekua.
Grimes says Tuiasosopo has voice and drama training, and that the prankster’s actions were no different from what actors do on a regular basis.
“This wasn’t a prank to make fun,” Grimes told the Daily 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.”
Tuiasosopo reportedly delayed making a public statement because of a California law that went into effect Jan. 1 that makes it illegal for someone to create a false online identity.
Tuiasosopo reportedly is seeing a mental health professional and has apologized to anyone he can.
I really hope he is brought up on some sort of fraud charges and sent to jail for his actions. He is an awful person.
You can read all our stories on the Manti Te’o hoax here.