Dr. Phil McGraw nabbed a sit-down with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo – the alleged mastermind behind Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend Lennay Kukua – to attempt to gather answers from the man about his motives for carrying on a fake relationship with the rising football star.
The psychologist appeared on the “Today” show on Wednesday to share his thoughts on the two-part interview (that will air Thursday and Friday on the “Dr. Phil” show), saying he believes Ronaiah developed genuine feelings for Manti during the course of their faux relationship.
“Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love,” Dr. Phil said. “I asked him straight up, ‘Was this a romantic relationship with you?’ And he says, ‘Yes.’”
The talk show host said he pursued the obvious next question, which was to inquire about Ronaiah’s sexuality.
“I said, ‘Are you then therefore gay?’ And he said, ‘When you put it that way, yes,’” Dr. Phil shared. “And then he caught himself and said, ‘I am confused.’ “
According to Dr. Phil, Ronaiah stated Manti was innocent in the whole scheme, and “absolutely, unequivocally” was not involved in the hoax.
The talk show host also spent time with Ronaiah and his parents, and said the prankster “had a number of life experiences that damaged this young man in some very serious ways.’’
-- Erin O’Sullivan