Manti Te'o Girlfriend Hoax Explained in Linebacker's Own Words

Notre Dame football star speaks out about how he handled hoax situation.
5:34 | 01/19/13

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Transcript for Manti Te'o Girlfriend Hoax Explained in Linebacker's Own Words
That's up in "pop news." But we're going to start with manti te'he notre dam star, all the while, telling the emotional story how he lost his grandmother and his girlfriend within six hours. Except the girlfriend, who said to have died of leukemia, was never real. Ever since this story broke, people have been asking, was te'o the victim or the perpetrator of this hoax? For the first time, te'o is telling his side of t story, as he prepares for the nfl draft in florida. We start with matt gutman. Reporter: Good morning, dan and bianna. Manti te'o says it was a cruelly intricate hoax. That he believed he was in love with this woman. And then, was diagnosed with leukemia. All of this spanning four years, hundreds of hours of phone conversations. It even involved accomplices. For the first time this morning, manti te'o setting the record straight. For the record, once again, were you in any way a part of this? No. Never. Reporter: The star notre dame linebacker, in hiding since the news of the so-called catfish hoax broke, confessing to our sister network, espn's jeremy schaap. I knew it was crazy that i was with somebody that I didn't meet. And let alone, people find out that this girl who died who i was so invested in, I didn't meet her, as well. So, I kind of, you know, tailored my stories to have people think that, yeah, he met her before she passed away. So that people wouldn't think that I was some crazy dude. Reporter: She was lennay kekua, who he called the love of his life, before announcing to the world, she died of cancer the same day his grandmother passed away. She was the alchemy of one man's imagination. Several links in the information superhighway, would lead to this man. The woman claiming to be kekua, nearly three months after her alleged death. Said it's lennay. And so, we carried on that conversation. And I just got mad. And I just went on a rampage. How could you do this to me? I ended that conversation by saying simply this. You know what? Lennay, my lennay died on SEPTEMBER 12th. Reporter: Now, abc news did not reach him for comment. We still don't know what motivated him to do this. Manti te'o says he didn't believe this was a lie until three days ago, when he called him to apologize. Dan? Bianna? All right. Matt gutman, our thanks to you. And espn's jeremy schaap was the only reporter to sit down with manti te'o and speak with him exclusively. You spent 2 1/2 hours with manti. This was an audio interview. Can you tell us what his demeanor was like? I was very impressed throughout our interview. He was very composed, collected. He never hesitated. He answered every question i asked. We were in there, I think you said, 150 minutes. By one count back at our office, he was asked more than 300 questions in that time. He never demurred. You sat with him for 2 1/2 hours. Did you walk away with the impression that he was part of this hoax? Or he was purely the victim of the hoax? He convinced me he was not party to this hoax. People will have to make their own judgment, once they read a lot of material from the interview that we're posting online and presenting on shows today on espn. But you know, there were certainly occasions on which he admitted to misleading reporters over the course of the last few months. He said that he had lied to his father about meeting lennay kekua in person. And those were some of the discrepancies, some of the conflicts that people pointed to over the last few days. And I think he went a long way toward explaining some of those discrepancies. But probably not to the satisfaction of everyone. And, jeremy, he may have explained some of the discrepancies. But you have to admit, this is such a bizarre story. What happens to him next? Will he be drafted by the nfl? Or will teams shy away from him now? Well, there's no doubt that manti te'o is going to be drafted. And I think there's little doubt he'll be drafted in the first half of the first round. Whether he will be a top three or four pick, as he was projected by some to be -- i mean, if his story is out there, and people believe his story, it will not affect his draft position. He will be a millionaire very soon. And even if some of those nfl executives don't believe it fully, he'll still be a millionaire very soon. Jeremy schaap, with the first exclusive interview with manti te'o, at the center of a big controversy this morning. Jeremy, a big thank you to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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