NEW YORK (AP)
Manti Te'o told Katie Couric the feelings he had for what turned out to be a fake, online girlfriend were real and reiterated he had nothing to do with the hoax.
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The All-American linebacker said he was truly sorrowful and pained after finding out the woman he knew as Lennay Kekua died in September.
Te'o's 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. Deadspin.com broke the news that the woman Te'o had claimed to be in love with did not exist.
Te'o, who led Notre Dame to a spot in the national championship, has admitted that when his girlfriend's ''death'' became a story, he misled reporters into thinking he had met her in the flesh.
The star player recounted the whole, strange episode in an interview with Couric that was broadcast Thursday.