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MailTribune.com
  • Alleged mastermind of Te'o hoax may tell his story

  • LANCASTER, Calif. — The person cast as the mastermind of the hoax involving Notre Dame's Manti Te'o may tell his side of the story, a family member said Sunday.
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  • LANCASTER, Calif. — The person cast as the mastermind of the hoax involving Notre Dame's Manti Te'o may tell his side of the story, a family member said Sunday.
    Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, uncle of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, says the family plans to hold a meeting this week to determine when and how his nephew would talk about the bizarre prank.
    "We want to do it right," he said, also noting that the family has hired an attorney. He never directly mentioned the hoax or his nephew being involved.
    Te'o insisted he had no role in the hoax involving his "dead" girlfriend and told ESPN on Friday night that he was duped by a person who has since apologized to him.
    In an off-camera interview, Te'o identified that person as Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a 22-year-old acquaintance who lives in California. He said the young man contacted him soon after Deadpsin.com broke the news on Wednesday. The Deadspin story indicated Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was involved, and suggested Te'o was, too.
    "We're just a family of faith. The family is holding up well," Peter Navy Tuiasosopo said. "They're holding up the way I would expect a family to. This is a storm."
    He made the comments after attending a two-hour service at the Oasis Christian Church, where his brother, who is Ronaiah's father, is pastor.
    Titus Tuiasosopo, the father, choked up as he thanked people for their prayers.
    "I've been practicing how to say 'no comment' in 20 languages," the pastor told his congregation. The family has not commented publicly since news of the hoax broke.
    Ronaiah Tuiasosopo wasn't seen in attendance, and two church members said he was not there.
    Earlier in the day, ABC news announced that Te'o would do his first television interview with Katie Couric. The interview will air Thursday on Couric's daytime talk show and Te'o's parents will be with him. ABC was not releasing details of when the interview would take place or where.
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