St. Petersburg, Florida -- The mastermind behind the so-called Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax is opening up to Dr. Phil.
The first part of the interview aired right here on 10 News Thursday afternoon.
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo told Dr. Phil he was deeply in love. He not only created the persona of the girlfriend Lennay Kekua, but her family members too, in the Internet and phone relationship with Te'o.
He told Dr. Phil he didn't create the relationship to get money or anything from Te'o. The doc tells 10 News, he believes trauma and narcissism lead Tuiasosopo to make up the fantasy.
"The family dynamics here played a major role in an indirect way in why all of this began to unfold in Ronaiah's life. There was a very difficult relationship with his father early on and that was a back drop to some things that took place in Ronaiah's life that I think contributed greatly to what happened here," Dr. Phil McGraw said.
Coming up Friday in part two of this Dr. Phil exclusive, hear if Tuiasosopo was really the voice behind the calls or if he had a female co-conspirator.
Plus, hear from Tuiasosopo's parents about how they feel about the accusations against their son and where the family goes from here.
You can see part two of Dr. Phil's exclusive Friday on 10 News at 4 p.m.