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Voice of Te'o prankster? Couric plays voicemails

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 4:30 p.m. CDT
Caption
In this photo taken on Jan. 22, 2013 and released by ABC Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o (second from left), and his parents Brian and Ottilia, listen to host Katie Couric during an interview for "Katie," in New York. Te'o told Couric that he briefly lied about his online girlfriend after discovering she didn't exist, while maintaining that he had no part in creating the hoax. The interview will air on Thursday, Jan. 24. (AP Photo/Disney-ABC, Lorenzo Bevilaqua)

NEW YORK (AP) — The person Manti Te'o says was pretending to be his online girlfriend told the Notre Dame linebacker "I love you" in voicemails that were played during his interview with Katie Couric.

Taped earlier this week and broadcast Thursday, the hour-long talk show featured three voicemails that Te'o claims were left for him last year. He provided the messages to Couric and said they were from the person he believed to be Lennay Kekua, a woman he had fallen for but never met face-to-face.

After the first message was played, Te'o said: "It sounds like a girl, doesn't it?"

"It does," Couric responded.

The interview was the first done on-camera by the All-American since his once-heartwarming tale of inspired play after the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day in September was exposed as a bizarre hoax on Jan. 16.

 

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