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Manti Te’o statement

  • SCOTT TERNA / CAL SPORTS MEDIANotre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o fields questions from the media prior to the Heisman ceremony in New York
    SCOTT TERNA / CAL SPORTS MEDIA
    Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o fields questions from the media prior to the Heisman ceremony in New York

“This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over several  months I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online.  We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her.

To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.

It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother’s death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life.

I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year.  To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick.  I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been.

In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious and less foolish.  If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was.

Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I’m looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.” 

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