SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o will be interviewed by Katie Couric, the first on-camera interview given by the All-American since news broke about the dead girlfriend hoax.
Te’o and his parents will appear on Couric’s syndicated daytime talk show Thursday. ABC News announced the interview Sunday, but gave no details as to when it will take place and where.
Te’o gave an off-camera interview with ESPN on Friday night. He insists he was the victim of the hoax, not a participant. The Heisman Trophy runner-up said he had an online romance with a woman he never met and in September was informed that the woman died from leukemia.
Te’o told ESPN that the person suspected of being the mastermind of the hoax has contacted him and apologized.
Couric, now a special correspondent for ABC News, formerly worked as the anchor for the “CBS Evening News” and was a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.
The strange tale of Te’o apparently being duped by an elaborate hoax, pulled off by a California man, has put the Heisman Trophy finalist in national headlines.
The man he said apologized to him for pulling the scam, 22-year-old Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, has not spoken publicly.
However, Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, uncle of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, said Sunday night the family plans to hold a meeting this week to determine when and how his nephew would talk about the bizarre prank.
“We want to do it right,” he said, also noting that the family has hired an attorney. He never directly mentioned the hoax or his nephew being involved.
“We’re just a family of faith. The family is holding up well,” Peter Navy Tuiasosopo said. “They’re holding up the way I would expect a family to. This is a storm.”
He made the comments after attending a two-hour service at the Oasis Christian Church, where his brother, who is Ronaiah’s father, is pastor.
Titus Tuiasosopo, the father, choked up as he thanked people for their prayers.