Brian Stelter NYT: Katie Couric has landed the first television interview with Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame football star who said he was tricked into believing first that he had a girlfriend and then that the girlfriend died of leukemia. The girlfriend never existed.
The oddity of the preceding sentences explain why Mr. Te’o has received so much attention in recent days, and why the first interview of him has been so hotly pursued.
The ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap interviewed Mr. Te’o for two and a half hours on Friday night, but Mr. Te’o’s representatives insisted that it take place off-camera. Now, it seems, they are ready for him to go on-camera.
Ms. Couric’s interview will be televised on Thursday on “Katie,” the syndicated talk show she began last fall, a spokeswoman for the show said on Sunday. Excerpts from the interview will be broadcast in advance on “Good Morning America” and other ABC News programs.
Mr. Te’o will be joined by his parents, Brian and Ottilia, for the interview. Mr. Te’o apparently misled his father about the girlfriend, claiming at one point that he’d met her in Hawaii.
Mr. Te’o told Mr. Schaap on Friday that he was the victim of an elaborate hoax. “I wasn’t faking it,” he said. That possibility was brought up three days earlier when the Web site Deadspin published an investigation into his claims about the girlfriend.
Ms. Couric and her staff beat out a number of other interviewers who tried to secure an interview with Mr. Te’o, including Oprah Winfrey. Ms. Winfrey’s much-anticipated interview with Lance Armstrong was televised last Thursday and Friday on her cable channel OWN.
The spokesman hired by Mr. Te’o’s family in recent days, Matthew Hiltzik, is also the longtime spokesman for Ms. Couric.