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Manti Te'o says he lied after learning 'girlfriend' was a hoax

Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish warms up prior to playing against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish warms up prior to playing against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

ABC News is beginning to release bits of Katie Couric's conversation with Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o, and the first highlight the network is spotlighting is this:

"Manti Te'o briefly lied to the media and the public after discovering his online girlfriend did not exist ... he admitted in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Katie Couric."

Basically, it looks like the linebacker told Couric that he learned "Lennay Kekua" wasn't real and that he had been the victim of a hoax last Dec. 6. But Te'o says he spoke of her to interviewers two days later as if she had been real because he didn't want to look like he'd been fooled.

"Put yourself in my situation," he says to Couric. "What would you do?"

If you're just catching up on the Te'o story:

Now, Te'o's father tearfully tells Couric that his son is "not a liar, he's a kid" and was the victim, not a participant, in the hoax.

ABC will roll out more highlights later on World News with Diane Sawyer. Couric's interview with Te'o airs on Thursday. You can find a station that broadcasts her show by clicking here.

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