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Ronaiah Tuiasosopo tells Dr. Phil he was voice of Manti Te’o’s ‘girlfriend’

01.30.13 at 12:27 pm ET

Last week, reports surfaced that the person Manti Te’o spoke with on the phone for all those months was Ronaiah Tuiasosopo‘s cousin, Tino Tuiasosopo. Now, though, Ronaiah has confessed to Dr. Phil McGraw in an interview that will air Thursday that he himself was the one on the phone with Te’o, pretending to be Lennay Kekua.

“There were many times when Manti and Lennay have broken up,” Tuiasosopo said, “but something would bring them back together, whether it was something going on in his life or Lennay’s life or in this case my life.”

Tuiasosopo also told McGraw that, for him, the relationship became a romantic one, and that Te’o had no idea it was him on the other end of the phone.

“Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love,” McGraw told NBC. “I asked him straight up, ‘Was this a romantic relationship with you?’ And he says yes. I said, ‘Are you then therefore gay?’ And he said, ‘When you put it that way, yes.’ And then he caught himself and said, ‘I am confused.’ ”

Many who think Te’o was in on the hoax have theorized that he did it to cover up being gay himself. When Katie Couric asked him if he was in their interview last week, though, he denied it.

“No, far from it,” he said, then repeated it with emphasis. “Far from it.”

Read More: Dr. Phil, Manti Te'o, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, Rumor Mill