Posted: 1/30/2013 12:17:48 PM
"Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love," McGraw told NBC. "I asked him straight up, 'Was this a romantic relationship with you?' And he says yes. I said, 'Are you then therefore happy?' And he said, 'When you put it that way, yes.' And then he caught himself and said, 'I am confused.' "
McGraw told NBC that Te'o "absolutely, unequivocally" wasn't involved in the hoax.
One theory for the hoax is that Te'o was trying to cover up a guy relationship. In her TV interview with Te'o last week, Katie Couric asked him if he was happy.
"No, far from it," he said. "Faaaaarrrr from it."
Tuiasosopo told McGraw that as Te'o became more famous he knew that the online hoax he started more than 2 years ago was going to blow up.
Tuiasosopo said: "I wanted to end it because after everything I had gone through I finally realized that I just had to move on with my life and had to get ... you know my real me Ronaiah ... I just had to start living and let this go."
McGraw said he spent time with Tuiasosopo and his parents.
"Ronaiah had a number of life experiences that damaged this young man in some very serious ways," he said.
As Notre Dame rose to No. 1 in the AP Top 25, sport writers nationwide recounted the story of the heroic, grieving athlete who persevered on the field after his "girlfreind" was diagnosed with leukemia and died. Te'o and his family provided them with plenty of stories about the relationship, and no one figured out it was fiction until Deadspin.com broke the story earlier this month.
Te'o, in his interview with Couric, reiterated that he lied about his online girlfriend after the Dec. 6 phone call indicated that she may be alive, while maintaining that he had no part in creating the hoax.
The interview, which aired on Couric's syndicated television show, put Te'o and his parents in front of television cameras for the first time since the incident.
Te'o told a story similar to the one he told in a previous off-camera interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap -- namely, that he believed Kekua had died of cancer in September, but he was confused by the Dec. 6 phone call in which she claimed to be alive.