Diane O’Meara, the woman whose pictures were allegedly used to create a fake girlfriend for Manti Te’o, said she’s never met the Notre Dame football star and is a victim in the “twisted” tale.
In an interview with NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday, the 23-year-old marketing executive said the man behind the elaborate hoax called and apologized to her recently.
“It’s very bizarre, and it’s a very twisted and confusing scenario,” O’Meara told NBC.
“I’ve never met Manti Te’o in my entire life. I’ve never spoken with him. I’ve never exchanged words, tweets (with him).’’
Deadspin.com broke the original story as Notre Dame lost the US college football championship to Alabama earlier this month.
The story said someone snared Te'o using a fake girlfriend, and that he'd told his teammates she’d died of cancer to motivate them for the season, one of Notre Dame’s best in years.
More from GlobalPost: Manti Te’o doubles down in ESPN interview
It was later revealed Te’o himself was the victim of a hoax perpetrated by a distant associate named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
“The past five years, (Tuiasosopo) has literally been stalking my Facebook and stealing my photos," O’Meara told Today. “Ronny has called and not only confessed, but he has also apologized. I don’t think there’s anything he could say to me that would fix this."
O’Meara and Tuiasosopo went to high school together, and he used her Facebook photo to create social media profiles for a woman he called Lennay Kekua.
To add drama to the story, Te’o apparently learned in December that Kekua wasn’t real, but perpetuated her story during interviews, Deadspin said.
Now, Tuiasosopo’s family is preparing him to meet the press and explain himself.
“We want to do it right,” his uncle, Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, told CBS News.
Te’o is scheduled to speak with Katie Couric for a segment on her daytime talk show Thursday, CBS said.
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