(CNN) - Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o acknowledged to ABC's Katie Couric that he maintained the illusion of his dead girlfriend in the weeks after he received a call claiming that Lennay Kekua and her death were hoaxes.
It wasn't that Te'o was lying, said spokesman Mathew Hiltzik, who also reportedly represents Couric. Rather, he was still trying to determine exactly what had happened after learning a woman he thought was his girlfriend may never have existed.
During the interview, set to air on Couric's syndicated show Thursday, the Heisman Trophy runner-up said he mentioned Kekua and her death to reporters after receiving a December 6 phone call from someone he thought was Kekua, saying she was not dead.
Deadspin.com broke the story that Kekua didn't exist. The oft-irreverent sports news website has reported that a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is involved in the scam and that he created a fake Twitter account for Kekua.
This morning on "Starting Point," Soledad O'Brien interviews Diane O'Meara, the woman in the picture purporting to be Lennay Kekua, on her conversation with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and his role in the hoax.