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Monday, July 14, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 1/22/2013

California woman, the 'face' of Manti Te'o fake girlfriend, speaks out

Says man behind hoax has apologized

BLADE NEWS SERVICES
Diane O'Meara Diane O'Meara
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The woman whose photo was used as the “face” of the Twitter account of Manti Te'o's supposed girlfriend says the man allegedly behind the hoax confessed and apologized to her. 

Diane O'Meara spoke to NBC's “Today” show today. She says Ronaiah Tuiasosopo used pictures of her without her knowledge in creating a fake woman called Lennay Kekua. Te'o, a Notre Dame football player, asserts he was tricked into an online romance with Kekua and, until last week, believed she died of leukemia in September.

"It's very bizarre and it's a very twisted and confusing scenario," O'Meara said. "I've never met Manti Te'o in my entire life. I've never spoken with him. I've never exchanged words." 

When it was determined O'Meara's photo was used, she found herself swarmed by reporters, who staked out her Los Angeles office where she works as a marketing executive.

O'Meara ducked out of sight until the "Today" report this early today. She said she had never heard of Te'o until the story broke. 

O'Meara went to high school with Tuiasosopo, but she says they're not close. She says he called to apologize Jan. 16, the day Deadspin.com broke the hoax story.

 "The past five years he's literally been stalking my Facebook and stealing my photos," she said. "Ronaiah has called and not only confessed but he has also apologized. I don't think there's anything he can say to me that will fix this."

The Notre Dame player, will sit down for his first on-camera interview this week with Katie Couric on the show "Katie," the talk show host said Sunday.

Couric announced the interview on her Twitter account, saying, "I will be doing the first on-camera interview with Manti Te'o & his parents - this Thursday on @KatieShow http://abcn.ws/13TpqBc"



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