TODAY   |  February 02, 2013

Is Te’o hoaxster really the voice of fake girlfriend?

A tragic love story turned bizarre hoax involving athlete Manti Te’o left fans perplexed. Dr. Phil sat down with the man who says he’s responsible for the lies behind all the fuss. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> the latest chapter in the manti te'o girlfriend hoax. the man behind the deception is now explaining why he did it and how. here's nbc's kristen dahlgren.

>>> i don't want to be.

>> reporter: as ronaiah tuiasosopo, the man behind the manti te'o hoax, answered dr. phil's questions --

>> people say, does he have any feel being this, the truth is i hurt every day from the decisions i made.

>> reporter: he admitted he was motivated to create the fake girlfriend because of his own romantic love for the football star and a painful past.

>> i want to talk about why you felt moved to create an alter e ego.

>> it went through what i went through as a child.

>> reporter: it took the tv psychologist several tries to get an answer to one of most perplexing questions -- was it really tuiasosopo alone who left the voice dmalmails.

>> i want the truth.

>> reporter: he first went behind a screen to do the voice.

>> i love you so much, sweet dreams .

>> reporter: the show was analyzed by experts.

>> 87%, 40%, 48%. not conclusive.

>> reporter: they sent a producer to tuiasosopo's house where he said he made the calls in private. whe with the producer's phone he recorded this.

>> sweet dreams .

>> this time there was no question -- match, match, match.

>> reporter: perhaps conclusive proof. but for many, still not enough. even with this public apology to manti te'o.

>> i can never express how sorry i am.

>> reporter: for what appears to be simply a cruel hoax that fooled a young star and has fascinated a nation. for "today," kristen dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles .