The alleged mastermind behind the Manti Te'o "fake" girlfriend hoax auditioned for NBC's "The Voice" and told an elaborate sob story to the producers.
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a high school quarterback turned religious musician, auditioned for the upcoming season of "The Voice," according to Us Weekly. Before singing, Tuiasosopo told an elaborate tale about a tragic car accident, which "people now think ... is fake" in light of the Te'o hoax.
Via Us Weekly:
According to the source, Tuiasosopo told producers he and his cousins started a Christian band together and were on their way to perform at a youth conference in Nevada when they got into a "massive" car accident. He claimed a truck crashed into their vehicle, sending them flip-flopping all over the freeway. He also said doctors thought one of them might have been brain-dead, but miraculously, everyone was fine.
On Friday, a representative for NBC confirmed to The Huffington Post that Tuiasosopo had auditioned for the show.
Deadspin originally named Tuiasosopo in the breaking story about Te'o's "fake" girlfriend, revealing that sources believe he is the one who posed online as Lennay Kekua, the non-existent young woman who supposedly dated the Notre Dame superstar linebacker, got into a car accident, discovered she had cancer and later died.
Tuiasosopo comes from a big football family, according to Deadspin, but after high school he turned away from the field and immersed himself in a local church where his father is the pastor. The 22-year-old, who is allegedly friends with Te'o, leads the church's band. He has YouTube music videos, one of which Te'o linked to in a tweet in December 2011, according to Deadspin.
Since the Te'o hoax story broke, more people have implicated Tuiasosopo as the one who pretended to be Kekua.
“I wouldn’t put it past this guy to do that,” Manti's uncle, Alema Te’o, told 97.5 The Zone in Salt Lake City on Thursday. Alema went on to say that he believes Tuiasosopo's motive are financially driven, namely raising money for cancer victims who don't exist.
“His big deal was raising money," Alema said. "So I can’t help but think that this guy wanted to get close to Manti to help him get money."