"The belief in this person, the deception, wasn't only with Manti, it was our entire family," his mother, Ottilia Te'o, told Couric. "We had conversations with this person. So in our mind, we had followed the same pattern as Manti."
Te'o: 'I was just scared and I didn't know what to do'
Te'o said he was told that, on September 12, Kekua suddenly started to breathe hard, to sweat and, at 10:47 p.m., she died.
That was the same day his grandmother died. Three days later, he led the Fighting Irish to a 20-3 rout of Michigan State, saying he had been inspired to honor the two women with his play.
"I miss 'em, but I know that I'll see them again one day," he told ESPN at the time.
Even in death, Kekua continued to come up in interviews and elsewhere. She was part of Te'o's story.
Then came the December 6 phone call, from a woman he first thought was Kekua's sister. But then, he recalled, "She said, 'No Manti, it's Lennay.' "
"There was a long silent pause," Te'o said. "And I was angered to say the least."
Despite his renewed doubts, he kept talking -- including at the Heisman presentation on December 8, when he referred to his girlfriend losing her battle with cancer. A Twitter picture sent later that month showing the girl he thought was Kekua, holding a sign with that day's date, convinced him it was all a lie.
But he still didn't know what to do, or what to say.