Manti Te'o, the University of Notre Dame's linebacker who claims to have been "catfished" into an online hoax in which he ended up having a relationship with someone who actually didn't exist, broke his silence on Friday — as reported by SB Nation.
Te'o sat with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap — in an off-camera interview, which according to SB Nation "made a confusing story about a fake dead girlfriend even more complicated."
"It was two and a half hours of discussion. Manti Te'o, in that time, answered every question that I posed. He was comprehensive, he went back to the beginning of the story [and] explained himself as fully as I think he could," said Schaap just after the anticipated interview.
"He admitted to a couple of mistakes along the way, including lying to his father," Schaap added.
According to Schapp, Te'o admitted, "it was crazy that I was with somebody that I didn't meet." However, when asked about whistleblower Deadspin's assertion that Te'o was "80% in this" the linebacker continued to deny he had anything to do with inventing the alleged girlfriend who died of cancer. However, he acknowledged that he "kind of tailored my stories to have people think that, yeah, he met her before she passed away."
Schapp continued to assure that Te'o was "composed and self-assured" during the two and a half hours the interview went on for, and added the player showed "no nervousness" and that Te'o showed "command of the story."
Watch the video below:
Weigh in: Was Manti Te'o the victim of an online hoax or is he lying about faking a girlfriend?