Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 1/23/13

Manti Te'o opened up and told Katie Couric that he briefly lied about his online girlfriend after discovering she didn't exist, while maintaining that he had no part in creating the bizarre hoax. After Couric pressed the Notre Dame linebacker to admit he was in on the deception, Te'o said he believed that his girlfriend Lennay Kekua had died of cancer and didn't lie about it until December. Te'o revealed this information in a taped interview to air Thursday on Couric's syndicated talk show, "Katie."  A segment of the interview with Te'o and his parents, Brian and Ottilia, was broadcast on "Good Morning America." "You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti," said Couric. Te'o replied: "Katie, put yourself in my situation.  I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12.  Everybody knew that.  This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12. "Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she's alive and then I'm going to be put on national TV two days later.  And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?" The Heisman Trophy runner-up said he only learned of the hoax when he received a phone call on Dec. 6 from a woman saying she was Kekua, but on Dec. 8 he again publicly mentioned his girlfriend. The remark came as Te'o was a finalist for the Heisman — the award given to the best college football player in the country. Te'o continued being in the spotlight until he played in the BCS Championship Game against Alabama on January 7 without mentioning the scam until this taping.

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