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Lawyer: Tuiasosopo pretended to be female on phone

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was talking to a man on the phone the whole time. At least that's what the lawyer for Ronaiah Tuiasosopo says.

Tuiasosopo is the man who now admits, through his lawyer, to concocting a hoax to deceive Te'o. Tuiasosopo supposedly was the one who spoke to Te'o for hundreds of hours while pretending to be "Lennay Kekua." Just when you think this story couldn't get any weirder, we get this.

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Te'o "thought it was a female he was talking with," Tuiasosopo's lawyer, Milton Grimes, told the New York Daily News. "It was Ronaiah as Lennay."

Grimes is a well-known lawyer who once represented Rodney King. Grimes' newest client clearly wants to take the blame for the hoax and appears to be setting up a potential legal defense of mental instability.

"This wasn't a prank to make fun," Grimes told the News. "It was establishing a communication with someone. ... It was a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship."

This story long switched from bizarre and funny to sad. It's hard to fully believe anyone involved in this story at this point.

UPDATE: Deadspin published three voicemails, released by Katie Couric's show, that "Lennay" apparently left on Te'o's phone.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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