Phil McGraw ended the 'Dr. Phil Show' on Thursday with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo with a cliffhanger. The TV psychologist promised that the man that perpetrated the Lennay Kekua hoax on Manti Te'o would go behind a privacy screen to do the voice Tuiasosopo says he used while impersonating Kekua while he was on the phone talking to Te'o.
Friday's second hour of McGraw's interviews with Tuiasosopo began with a quick recap of Thursday's episode, but predictably, McGraw made his television viewers wait through 47 minutes of the episode before he shared "the voice".
Before he showed Tuiasosopo doing Kekua's voice, McGraw reiterated what he said on Thursday's show - that government experts doubted the female voice on Te'o's voicemails could have been that of a male. McGraw pressed Tuiasosopo to do the voice, and the 22-year-old finally relented and went behind the privacy screen to do the voice.
Tuiasosopo read transcripts of the three voice mails Te'o provided last week when he sat down for an interview with Katie Couric and then came back from behind the screen. He told 'Dr. Phil' he was uncomfortable doing the voice, even from behind the screen.
Voice experts examined those samples, but the results came back 'inconclusive' for a match with the ones left on Te'o's cell phone voice mail. McGraw later sent a show producer to Tuiasosopo's home to give him the chance to do the voice in a more comfortable and familiar setting.
The producer told him to do the voice in her phone so that no voice synthesizers could be used, and then watched as Tuiasosopo used the phone to call Dr. Phil's audio booth. Those recordings were then played and sounding startlingly similar to the original "Kekua" voice mails.
The audio experts evaluated those recordings and considered them a match to the originals. Three individual labs evaluated each recording on three different criteria and all three came back with the same results.
"They all say with scientific certainty that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is the female voice in those recordings," McGraw said.
One of the forensic voice audio examiners said the following:
"Ronaiah can manipulate his voice without using a voice manipulation box or device. It is a true talent. I've never heard someone do this before."
Prior to the airing of his impersonation, McGraw asked Tuiasosopo why her perpetrated the hoax on Te'o.
"It was just an escape from a lot of the things that I've been through," Tuiasosopo began. "I was too embarrassed to share, especially coming from a family where we're well known in the football world and then my dad being a pastor. "
"They raised me the best they could, but there were just some things that happened back then that I felt, then, they were just too horrific and horrifying for me to share growing up and then holding that in as a child - it just led me to wanting to escape my real life."
Tuiasosopo's explanation for "why" was somewhat confusing, but he then revealed that he was molested a number of times, beginning at age 12, by someone who was "close" to his family. Dr. Charles Sophy, who has evaluated Tuiasosopo, told McGraw the molestation made Tuiasosopo feel "dark and dirty".
The impetus to create the Kekua character, Tuiasosopo says, came from his need to hide his secret from his parents, as well as the pressures he previously described. Being "Lennay Kekua" gave him a "fresh start".
"It wasn't just creating Lennay," Tuiasosopo said. "Because a lot of people were like 'then how come you didn't create a guy?'. Well, the truth was when I was being violated it wasn't happening as a little boy. I was touched on, grabbed on (and) abused as if I were a girl. The way my body was grabbed, the way I was touched (and) the way I was spoken to. I thought that I was too damaged and that was that."
Tuiasosopo claimed he received "validation" from the love Te'o shared with Kekua and from the things Te'o said publicly about their relationship after Kekua's "death". He says Kekua helped Te'o become a better person through the deceptive relationship.
The revelations to his parents that he was both molested and that he had perpetrated the hoax from Tuiasosopo did not come until the episode became public in recent weeks. Tuiasosopo's father said the combined news hit him like he was "drinking from a fire hydrant".
"I can't express how sorry I am towards Manti and his family and everyone affected by this," Tuiasosopo tearfully said. "I can't express how sorry I am to my family and just the ones who have been there for me no matter what and everyone who carries my last name or has been affected by the media, I can't express how sorry I am to all of them."
McGraw concluded the show by proclaiming his belief that Te'o never had knowledge of the hoax.