Friday, January 25, 2013

Who is the Voice of Manti Te'o's Fake Girlfriend?

One of the big questions I've had since the Manti Te'o scandal broke was who the voice was on the other end of the line. Manti spent hours upon hours on the phone with "Lennay" so you would think that it would have to be a voice that was as beautiful as the pictures the hoax mastermind Ronaiah Tuiasosopo used to fool Manti.

That was something that Katie Couric approached in her interview with Manti (which aired on her show Thursday, but you can see above. In the interview Manti provided a few voice mails that he still had. Katie had them posted to her site, but they have had trouble keeping them up and working.

Deadspin, the guys that originally broke this story, posted these links to the voice mails in an article Thursday:


The real interesting part of this part of the tale broke Thursday morning. Ronaiah's lawyer, Milton Grimes, told reporters that there was only one person involved in the whole scandal; not Ronaiah, a woman, and another man as originally reported.

And yes, this meant that the voice on the phone was not that of a woman's, but a man (Ronaiah).

Grimes tried to pass it off as something that goes on in Hollywood all the time. Since Ronaiah is trained as an actor he is more than capable of pulling it off.

I don't buy it. For one, I a not so sure that these voices are feminine myself; to me they sound like a guy trying to do a woman's voice. Why would he bother telling Manti that there were two other people if he acted alone?

It could be because he is trying to cover for his friends and take the blame himself. A story that broke Friday morning supports that contention. Supposedly Ronaiah's cousin Tino is believed to be the voice of Lennay either as well or instead of Ronaiah.

Family members of Tino have said that it is her on some of those messages, not Ronaiah. This is backed up further by expert analysis that says that the voice on the Manti's voice mail is female. Now if Ronaiah can fool those guys he has an incredible gift, but somehow I doubt that.

It is admirable that he is trying to take the heat himself, and save the other two people involved, but his father--you know, the pastor--should be able to tell him that the truth will eventually set him free.

But he actually has to peak it first.

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