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It’s been over a day since the country learned that Notre Dame star Manti Te’o’s tragic story about his dead girlfriend was a complete hoax. The man Deadspin traced the hoax to, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, had reportedly auditioned for NBC’s The Voice before he played a role in the Te’o hoax.
Manti Te’o had told the media in September that on the same day his grandmother died, his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died as well. However, on Wednesday, Deadspin published a story that called it all a hoax. They had found that the girlfriend never existed and that the photos used by the media belonged to someone else who never knew Te’o.
The site traced the hoax to Tuiasosopo, who actually knew Te’o. He had played football in high school but became a devoted religious musician after graduating.
Now, Us Weekly is reporting that Tuiasosopo has concocted stories before, giving NBC a sob story when he auditioned for the hit reality show.
“He had this insane sob story before [he sang],” an insider told Us. “t would make for great TV.”
He had told the show that he and his cousins founded a Christian rock band. On their way to a gig, they were in a “massive” car accident after which a doctor said one should have been brain dead. But they were all fine.
Tuiasosopo "passed a background check and psych evaluation,” the insider says. “Nothing came up, no suspicious behavior,” but, “people now think the sob story is fake.”
Another source says that despite the sob story, none of the judges, including Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera, were impressed and Tuiasosopo didn’t get any further in the show.
While Te’o claims that he was not in on the hoax, a friend of Tuiasosopo told Deadspin that he is “80 percent sure” that Te’o was “in on it.”