I knew once the woman identified in the Deadspin article as Ruth came out and publicly stated her real name, Diane O’Meara, the other shoe had to drop. For those that missed the story, Miss O’Meara’s pictures were stolen off her Facebook page and used to create the fake Lannay Kekua. She did not talk on the phone to Manti.
Today, Manti tells his side of the story to Katie Couric. It’s a sad one folks. Manti’s story proves for all time that truth is stranger than fiction.
In my last post, I asked reporters to identify the woman who ran the scam on Manti. Her voice, I supposed, had to have epic siren qualities to hook Manti Te’o so hard that he fell in love with her. I even said she was worse than Ronaiah because of the long timespans of their calls. I even called her heartless. I pictured a conflicted woman who over time may have developed feelings for Manti Te’o and wanted out of the hoax. I really hoped the female hoaxer had fallen in love with Manti, and her putting an end to the hoax was her redemption. Sadly, this writer was dreaming.
Well, sports fans, it comes out today, that the voice belonged to Ronaiah Tuiasosopo after all. This blows my mind. An attorney goes out of his way to point out Ronaiah sings in a Christian band and demonstrated great acting and lying abilities when he tried out for The Voice. WTF? Ronaiah synthesized the fake voice? Is this attorney speak for suggesting Ronaiah can mimic a woman’s voice for hours and heck, even years with equipment he carries around with him 24/7? Sorry, attorney person, your story doesn’t hold true. Did you add up the hours of time they spent on the phone?
Did Ronaiah grow to have feelings for Manti, feelings his church would disapprove of, feelings Manti wouldn’t approve of, and so he continued the romantic phone relationship et al because he fell in love with Manti?
What kind of hoax lasts for years without something romantic holding it together?
We know from the original Deadspin article that Ronaiah played football in high school, so heck, I didn’t picture him having a soft voice. We’re supposed to believe his hoaxer girl voice never cracked under the stress, under the heavy breathing, during impromptu times when Manti called to talk after a bad day? Does Manti have hearing loss? How could he have been so totally duped?
I can’t imagine what Ronaiah hoped to get out of this hoax unless it was money. Did he at some point realize he could make money and did he decide to blackmail Manti? I think this is a fair question. In fact, all roads lead to two possible conclusions: Blackmail or a hidden, twisted love story. Attempted blackmail could be prosecuted but not a lovelorn hoaxer. What’s the real story?
Imagine Manti in the grips of negotiating a million(s) dollar contract and the hoaxer decides to blackmail him. I think this was Manti’s conclusion because he knew he’d puffed up the core story on his own and without prompting from Ronaiah. The blackmailer had a lot of evidence to work with, and that’s why Manti decided to go public. He does appear like a dope with delusions of grandeur, sorry Manti, but I think you did make the right decision to get this Ronnie monkey off your back. As for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, dude, you’ve ruined your life and I sincerely hope you get the help you desperately need.
Readers, what do you think happened? Did Ronaiah fall in love or hope to gain financially by using blackmail? To me, without knowing either man, the story could fall either way. Naturally, the fake sports news wants us to believe it was a simple hoax gone wild, so Manti can get on with his career. He doesn’t want to sue his friend or ex-friend.
Manti, I’ll leave this story but you are the poster child for how lies and secrets can come back and bite you or your ass–or in your case the wallet. The sad thing, you had the creds without the lies. Good life to you and I wish you well.