The Manti Te’o hoax story keeps getting weirder and creepier as we get deeper into it. On the day that Te’o's interview with Katie Couric is set to air, the lawyer for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has confirmed that his client was indeed the voice of Lennay Kekua when she supposedly had phone conversations with Te’o.
To quote Austin Powers, that’s no woman, that’s a man, baby.
Yes, this means that when Manti Te’o thought he was talking to a woman, he was really talking to Tuiasosopo pretending to be a woman. So, naturally the question becomes how did Te’o fall for this whole hoax when he wasn’t ever actually talking to a woman?
Tuiasosopo’s lawyer says his client received vocal training that helped him mimic a woman’s voice over the phone. That’s how Te’o was so convincingly fooled — Tuiasosopo is just a really good
There’s really two ways to take this whole revelation that Te’o never talked to a woman. The first it to go back to assuming Te’o is lying and that this is further proof that he had to be in on this. No matter how trained you are, unless you’re a professional, it’s extremely hard to sell yourself as a woman if you’re really not.
Which leads to a second way to interpret this which is to feel absolute shame and embarrassment for Te’o, as this continues to be a story he’ll never in his life live down. First the girl isn’t real, then it turns out she’s really not real to the point where it turns out she’s not even a she.
However a third different way to interpret this remains the least talked about yet most controversial of them all. Perhaps Manti Te’o knew Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was a man, as it’s been suggested by even the Huffington Post that Te’o could be covering up his homosexuality with this whole hoax. That seemed like a far-fetched idea when this all started, but the evidence keeps pointing towards it.
If Te’o is indeed gay, which I’m in no way accusing him of being, that explains everything.
It explains why Tuiasosopo had to create a fake Twitter account and pretend he was a woman and more importantly why Te’o had to lie to his parents about not meeting her. Remember that Te’o is devoutly religious, and in case you didn’t know, the religion that Notre Dame is founded around isn’t necessarily holding hands with the gay community, despite the fact that they make natural allies — but that’s besides the point and totally off topic.
Te’o himself isn’t a Catholic, but Mormons aren’t high up on gays either — and neither is the football community.
Obviously, there are massive holes in that theory, chief among them being why would Te’o set himself up to get caught rather than staying in the closet? But as Bill Simmons said on Grantland.com, this situation is so wacky and uncanny that Te’o being gay would actually make it all, for lack of a better word, normal.
What most likely happened is the second theory, that Te’o is just a naive college kid who got duped and is now never going to live it down. Te’o put the blinders up to such a great extent that he failed to see that his girlfriend wasn’t really even a girl.
If that doesn’t point to pure naivety, I’m not sure what does.