Ronaiah Tuiasosopo Admits He's Gay, But Says He's a "Recovering Homosexual"
The first part of DR. PHIL'S interview with MANTI TE'O hoaxer RONAIAH TUIASOSOPO aired yesterday, and here are the takeaways:
As expected, Dr. Phil asked Ronaiah straight-up if he was gay, and he said, "If you look at this situation, and everything that I've been through, of course, yeah, I would say yeah I'm gay. But, honestly I'm so confused. I'm so lost." So, he might NOT be gay? Well, Ronaiah admitted that he had "romantic feelings" for Manti, but apparently, he isn't cool with being gay.
He explained, "You've heard of recovering drug addicts? It takes a lot of courage to stand and say that to recover from homosexuality and this type of thing and coming back to your real life. As hard of a task it is, I'm going to do all I can to live right." Dr. Phil said that comment bothered him, and added, "I hope it's a pressure you don't put on yourself." (TMZ has video.)
Ronaiah also said, "I pretty much had this escape of Lennay from everything else. My heart and all my energy went into this, as twisted and confusing as it may be, I did all that I could to help this person become a better person even though I wasn't getting nothing out of it. The truth of it is that it happened, I grew feelings, I grew emotions that sooner or later I couldn't control anymore."
Throughout the interview, Ronaiah backed up Manti's general account of things, that he had no involvement in the hoax, and that he and Manti had not met until an event in November of last year.
Ronaiah also talked about how "Lennay" and Manti were having problems just before she "died", and that Manti had admitted to "skyping and seeing" other girls. The day Manti's grandmother died, Manti supposedly told Lennay that he never wanted to speak to "her" again, and that's why Ronaiah killed her off that night.
Like many vocal experts, Dr. Phil was "very skeptical" as to whether Ronaiah really did Lennay's voice, so he pushed him to demonstrate it. Initially, Ronaiah refused, saying that he felt "awkward and uncomfortable." But Dr. Phil wouldn't let it go, and even gave him a privacy screen, so he wouldn't have to do it in front of the cameras. But that's where Part One ended, so we won't know if Ronaiah actually does it until Part Two, which airs TODAY.