Te'o: 'I wasn't faking it'

NEED TO KNOW
  • Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o breaks silence, denies involvement in hoax
  • Te'o: 'When (people) hear the facts, they'll know'
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o breaks silence over a scandal involving a purported dead girlfriend.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o broke his silence Friday, saying he wasn't part of a hoax involving a deceased girlfriend.

"I wasn't faking it," Te'o said in an interview Friday with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, "I wasn't a part of this."

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Te'o defended himself during the interview about the scandal that's had so many twists and turns and made him the subject of numerous headlines and punchlines.

Te'o, a Heisman Trophy finalist, led the Fighting Irish to an undefeated regular season before his team's loss to Alabama in the BCS title game. His story was inspirational to many as he told reporters he was playing with a heavy heart this season knowing that his grandmother and girlfriend -- whom he described as Lennay Kakua, a 22-year-old Stanford University student -- died within hours of each other.

His grandmother did, indeed, pass away, but Deadspin published an article Wednesday dismissing the existence of Te'o's girlfriend. Notre Dame held a press conference later that day saying Te'o was the victim of an "elaborate hoax."

The story has left people with so many questions about what Te'o knew, when did he know it and whether he misled the media to garner sympathy.

"When (people) hear the facts, they'll know," Te'o said on Friday. "They'll know that there is no way that I could be a part of this."

CNN Wires contributed to this report.

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