PALMDALE (CBSLA.com) — The family of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo — Manti Te’o’s longtime friend who is accused of creating the girlfriend hoax embroiling the Notre Dame linebacker — is apparently ready to open up.
The family told CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Kara Finnstrom during church services Sunday (off camera) that they planned to hold a news conference sometime this week.
Tuiasosopo has been silent since the scandal broke. And, Finnstrom said, he was not at the Oasis Christian Church in Lancaster with his family.
His father, Titus, the church pastor, enthusiastically thanked the congregation for their support of his family.
During the thank you, he also broke down in tears. In a statement he said, “God is still on the throne.”
Titus’ brother says the family has retained legal counsel.
He did not give details but Finnstrom quoted Ronaiah’s uncle as saying, “there is a lot more to this story and it needs to be cleared up.”
In an off-camera interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap Friday, Manti Te’o maintained his innocence in the hoax. If asked if he was part of a scam, Te’o said, “No. Never. Not ever would I be a part of this.”
Sports site Deadspin.com — who broke the story in the first place — is reporting Tuiasosopo has reportedly perpetuated the girlfriend hoax on at least two other friends, but not to the extent he went to with Te’o.