Ronaiah Tuiasosopo told Dr. Phil McGraw that the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax he allegedly created had “everything to do”  with trying to escape from his real life because he had been molested as a child.
In the interview, the second part of which aired Friday, Tuiasosopo told McGraw he was molested repeatedly by a family friend beginning when he was 12. He did not identify that alleged family friend by name and didn’t say whether he had told the police about his claim.
Tuiasosopo said that creating Lennay Kekua, Te’o’s ‘girlfriend,’ validated him and allowed him to live in an alternate world and have a different identity. He also apologized to Te’o during the portion of the interview that aired Friday.