Ronaiah Tuiasosopo Says He Was One Talking to Manti Te’o On The Phone
The Manti Te’o story continues to take different turns with each passing day. As we reported yesterday, ESPN acquired information verifying that Manti Te’o spoke with his fake girlfriend over 1000 time during a 4 month period.
100 of those calls lasted over an hour. The New York Daily News now has word from the attorney of the alleged mastermind that Manti Te’o did indeed speak with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo each time.
Milton Grimes is the attorney for Tuiasosopo, and does verify that his client was indeed the person on the other line.
The Heisman Trophy finalist “thought it was a female he was talking with,” lawyer Milton Grimes acknowledged to the Daily News. “It was Ronaiah as Lennay.”
Te’o apparently never realized he was talking to Tuiasosopo, who had disguised his voice to sound like Lennay Kekua. Milton Grimes as any Hollywood lawyer would, made light of the situation.
“Come on, Hollywood does it all the time,” Grimes said Wednesday. “People can do that.”
The photos that were supposed to be Lennay were taken from the Facebook page of Diane O’Meara, a high school classmate of Tuiasosopo.
Tuiasosopo reportedly has a background in vocal and dramatic training. His attorney still insist Ronaiah wasn’t trying to hurt or embarrass anyone.
“This wasn’t a prank to make fun,” Grimes told The 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.”
Grimes declined to elaborate on what type of relationship he was seeking or why he did what he did.
“I wouldn’t describe his issues at this time.”
Grimes pointed out that the delay in Tuiasosopo speaking is due to a California law that makes it a crime to impersonate someone.
He does try to make people aware that his client is a good person who made a mistake.
“He’s torn by this,” Grimes said. “He didn’t mean for anyone to be hurt. Anything that he has done, he has apologized to those he could apologize to.”
This situation gets muggier by the day.