Te’o sat down with Katie Couric this week for an interview scheduled to air on her talk show on Thursday. In the interview, which was broadcast in part Wednesday on Good Morning America, the former Notre Dame linebacker admitted he lied about his online girlfriend’s death after learning she didn’t exist. Te’o still maintained his innocence, though.
“Katie, put yourself in my situation,” Te’o said, according to ESPN.com. “I, my whole world, told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12.”
Te’o said he learned of the hoax when he received a phone call in December.
“Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she’s alive and then I’m going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?” Te’o said.
Te’o talked about the girlfriend twice after Dec. 6, according to reports.
Te’o’s parents also spoke for the first time in the interview. Brian Te’o, Manti’s father, continued to defend his son’s innocence.
“People can speculate about what they think he is,” Brian Te’o said. “I’ve known him 21 years of his life. And he’s not a liar. He’s a kid.”
The rest of the interview airs Thursday.