Manti Te’o's Catfish scandal is a royal mess. For a while the Notre Dame football player thought he was in love with a beautiful woman named Lennay Kekua, who he met online. Their relationship was through electronic means, and over the phone, and was at times rocky, but after the last breakup Manti learned that Lennay had died (she had been suffering from Leukemia,) and very publicly mourned his “girlfriend.”
There was only one problem: she wasn’t real. The person behind the hoax was a male aspiring Christian singer Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, but there have been a lot of questions as to whether or not it was really Ronaiah Manti was talking to on the phone. The voice has been analyzed by experts who have said that the voice was definitely a female’s voice.
Ronaiah and his lawyer claim that he is 100% responsible for the female voice. When he appeared on Dr. Phil for an exclusive interview, Dr. Phil asked him if he ever forgot to use Lennay’s voice, he had a cocky reply “I’m not trying to be funny, but that’s kind of a rookie mistake. When you have been able to mastermind all of this, and create this whole reality, that’s a mistake that no, that I never made.”
Dr. Phil pointed out that he had a lot of vocal control, allowing him to sing beautifully, so it could be possible for him to be Lennay’s voice. Here’s Ronaiah singing:
However, when Dr. Phi asked Ronaiah to demonstrate the voice for him, Ronaiah refused several times:
“I can’t, even if I tried. There’s a whole lot that went into pushing myself to do something like that, to go to that extreme.” He went on to say that he was used to doing the voice alone, in the dark.
Last week The New York Post had a story saying that Ronaiah’s cousing Tina was actually behind the voice of Lennay Kekua. What’s really going on here? If Ronaiah isn’t the voice behind the “character” why is he so adamantly claiming he is?
Dr. Phil wouldn’t take no for an answer from Ronaiah, and he finally agreed to record the voice behind a screen.
Here are the results:
Ronaiah also told Dr. Phil he did it because this because he needed an escape from his life because he was molested many times as a child.
“I was too embarrassed to share, especially coming from a family where we’re well known in the football world, and my dad being a pastor. They raised me the best they could, but there were just some things that happened back then that I felt then were just to horrific and too horrifying for me to share. Growing up with that, holding that in as a child, it just let to me wanting to escape my real life and self. “