Te'o's alleged hoaxer obtains a lawyer

Jan. 21, 2013 at 9:13 AM
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ANTELOPE VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged hoaxer Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o says invented his Internet girlfriend, has obtained a lawyer, his family said.

Peter "Navy" Tuiasosopo, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's uncle, said a member of the family would be giving an interview later this week.

"The family is strong," he said Sunday. "The family will stay together."

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's father, Pastor Titus Tuiasosopo, thanked his Antelope Valley, Calif., congregation for its support.

"I want to thank you for your prayers, church family," he said. "I love you. Thank you for being here."

Te'o's public image soared late last year as he led Notre Dame to the national college football title game, but his story took a strange twist when deadspin.com reported his girlfriend -- who he said had died of leukemia during the season -- apparently never existed.

Te'o told ESPN the girlfriend turned out to be the product of the imagination and cyber machinations of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo of Palmdale, who allegedly created Lennay Kekua's persona using Twitter, digital photos and cellphones.

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