For the third time in recent weeks, a figure loosely related to sports is going outside of the sports bubble to tell their story on TV. Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the supporting character in the Manti Te'o/Lennay Kekua hoax, was interviewed for several hours yesterday by Dr. Phil.
Yes, Dr. Phil.
The interview with Tuiasosopo, which is apparently going to be airing sometime next week, was reportedly "emotional and deep" according to TMZ. Dr. Phil and Tuiasosopo watched Te'o's interview with Couric from Thursday, and then discussed it, presumably along with other parts of the situation involving Te'o and the hoax reportedly masterminded by Tuiasosopo.
It's interesting that ESPN missed out on yet another televised interview with a particular in the Te'o fiasco. They snagged a sitdown with Te'o and Jeremy Schaap, but there was no video broadcast of it, which pretty much destroyed their ability to widely market the interview. Te'o then went to Couric, and that interview has resulted in more questions than answers. Now, Tuiasosopo is going outside the box to Dr. Phil, and ESPN is once again left with the short end of the stick. It seems like a calculated move from the particulars in this situation to avoid ESPN and the sports-based spotlight in favor of daytime talk.
The Te'o/Couric interview was a mess, and I can't imagine getting any more clarity from Dr. Phil. if this interview goes down the same path, the inconsistencies and inaccuracies could result in this story continuing to blow up instead of disappearing, which is where the American public is increasingly wishing it would go.
In the end, maybe it's fitting for Tuiasosopo to sit down with Dr. Phil. This has Dina Lohan train wreck written all over it.