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On-camera interview between Te‘o, Couric to air Thursday

January 21, 2013
The Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - 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 a 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 or where it will take place.

Te'o gave an off-camera interview with ESPN on Friday. 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 named Lennay Kekua, and in September was informed that she died from leukemia. Last week, the public learned Kekua never existed.

Article Photos

Manti Te‘o, shown during an interview with ESPN on Friday, has said he was not complicit in a hoax about a dead girlfriend.
AP photo / ESPN Images, Ryan Jones

Te'o told ESPN that the person suspected of leading the hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo of California, has contacted him and apologized.

Couric, a special correspondent for ABC News, formerly anchored the "CBS Evening News" and was a co-host of NBC's "Today" show.

Tuiasosopo has not spoken publicly since news of the hoax emerged, but an uncle, Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, said Sunday the family plans to meet this week to determine when and how his nephew would talk about the prank.

"We want to do it right," he said, also noting that the family has hired an attorney.

"We're just a family of faith. The family is holding up well," Peter Navy Tuiasosopo said after attending a two-hour service at the Oasis Christian Church, where his brother - Ronaiah's father Titus Tuiasosopo - is pastor. "They're holding up the way I would expect a family to. This is a storm."

Titus Tuiasosopo choked up as he thanked people for their prayers.

"I've been practicing how to say 'no comment' in 20 languages," the pastor told his congregation.



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