Manti Te'o reflects on catfishing hoax in Netflix documentary: 'I needed to reveal it'

A Netflix documentary has been released that covers odd catfishing case that vexed Notre Dame senior star linebacker Manti Te'o 10 yrs ago. He talked same on "Untold: the Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist."

"To heal from it, I needed to reveal it," he said. "At this time, I pushed myself to be open & have those hard talks if anyone asked about it. I feel the power that I would get from talking about it."

In 2012, Te’o was a Heisman finalist and Butkus Award winner as the mainstay of a strong defensive unit that led the Fighting Irish all the way to the BCS national championship game.

He talked loss of his girlfriend, Stanford student Lennay Kekua, who died of cancer, in interviews. He eerily said that he only talked with Kekua online & hadn't met her in person who was fictional.

The image for Kekua was built by Ronaiah "Naya" Tuiasosopo, who talked with Te'o. Te'o was allegedly victim of a lengthy catfishing scam after Notre Dame's season ended. Movie also stars Tuiasosopo.

"I didn't know what to believe," Te'o said upon learning of the hoax. “What do you do with that information? Do you call somebody and say, ‘Hey, I just found out somebody's alive?’"

Te'o faced backlash online from those who felt he was part in scam. One of the most prolific college football players ever, he claimed that this period involved "a lot of self-discovery."