The man who says he tricked Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o into falling for a fake woman he created online claims the hoax had ``everything to do'' with escaping from real life because he had been molested as a child.
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo spoke publicly for the first time in an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw for the ``Dr. Phil Show,'' the second part of which aired Friday.
The 22-year-old Tuiasosopo told McGraw he was repeatedly molested, beginning at age 12, by someone who was close to his father, a church pastor and youth minister.
``I felt that I couldn't do things, accomplish things, pursue things, live out as Ronaiah,'' Tuiasosopo said. ``And I felt the need to create this. It has everything to do with what I went through as a child.''
Tuiasosopo did not identify his alleged attacker by name and did not say whether he had told police about his claim.