Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man behind the Manti Te’o hoax, appeared on Dr. Phil Friday where he revealed that he was molested as a child a number of times by someone close to his family, and raped to the point where he couldn’t walk.
“I was 12,” Ronaiah explained in an interview with Dr. Phil. “It started out with a hand and touching … I didn’t know what was going on.”
Ronaiah says the sexual abuse haunted him into adulthood, and may have led him to create ”Lennay Kekua,” a fictitious woman who began a long distance relationship with Notre Dame star linebacker, Manti Te’o. “It was just an escape from a lot of the things I had been through and I was just too embarrassed to share,” he said.
“There was just some things that happened back then that were too horrific for me to share … growing up and holding that in as a child just made me want to escape,” he explained.
Ronaiah says the molestation went on for a significant portion of his childhood, going ”from touching, to every form of molestation or abuse you can think about.”
“I never told anyone,” he continued. “I kind of just took it and moved on and hoped that the feeling of disgust and everything would just go away.”