On Dr. Phil McGraw's talk show, Ronaiah Tuiasosopowho admitted to fabricating Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend in an elaborate hoaxsaid he felt a deep romantic love for the football player, the Chicago Tribune reported. McGraw said on Today, "Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love." Te'o told talk-show host Katie Couric that he is not gay.
In a related development, Tuiasosopo claims the hoax had ''everything to do'' with escaping from real life because he had been molested as a child, according to a Yahoo! Sports item. Tuiasosopo told McGraw he was repeatedly molested, beginning at age 12, by someone who was close to his fathera church pastor and youth minister.