Manti Te'o Comes Clean About Fake Girlfriend

The linebacker learned about the hoax in early December and kept the secret for 20 days.

Posted: 01/18/2013 02:38 PM EST

Manti Te'o has admitted to knowing about his fake girlfriend, "Lennay Kekua," as early as Dec. 6, but says he kept the truth to himself so as not to distract his teammates, TMZ reports.

Te'o didn't tell his coaches about the prank until Dec. 26 because he didn't want to distract the team as they were preparing for the BCS National Championship against Alabama. During that time, he struggled with the situation, but eventually told the truth. 

Deadspin published a story on Wednesday that the Notre Dame linebacker was a victim of a hoax that had him believing his online "girlfriend" had died from leukemia in September.

Te'o is currently training at the IMG Academy in Florida to prepare for the NFL Draft.

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(Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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