The story of Manti Te’o’s fake dead girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, just gets more confusingly catfishy. Thursday morning, news broke that it was in fact the voice of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo that had been on the other end of over 1,000 phone calls between the two, resulting in more than 500 hours of conversation according to ESPN.
While the claim still remains that the hoax was perpetrated with the assistance of two unnamed accomplices, one male and one female, it was Tuiasosopo who manipulated his voice in conversation with Te’o.
Milton Grimes, the lawyer for Tuiasosopo, spoke to the New York Daily News offering up this excuse:
“Come on, Hollywood does it all the time. People can do that.”
Tuiasosopo has vocal experience. His resume boasts vocal and dramatic training, he was the president of his high school drama club, and he regularly performs with a Christian band.
Last year, he auditioned for the TV show The Voice. In his audition, he falsified yet another story, this time in front of the judges claiming that his band had recently been in a life-threatening car accident. That lie seems to be a common chorus for the singer.
Forget for a moment every other aspect of this wild and grandiose hoax. Are we to actually believe that Te’o was gullible enough to speak with a man disgusing his voice as a woman’s for over 500 hours and never catch on? Does Tuiasosopo have vocal abilities that skillful? Or is there yet another piece to this puzzle, like Te’o being closeted, that has yet to surface?
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