So Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was doing Lennay Kekua’s voice. But wait – listen to those voicemails. No way that was him. Ah, so it was a female relative. That makes more sense. But wait, Ronaiah’s still saying he did it… only he’s refusing to do the voice for Dr. Phil to prove it. Sure seems like the work of a guy with something to hide – like, say, that he’s a proven liar lying once again – right?
Well, wrong. The second half of Tuiasosopo’s interview aired today. He did the voice. And this time…
OK, so Tuiasosopo was telling the truth after all, and his relatives were the ones who had it wrong. Of course, this only came after another attempt at the voice behind a screen produced inconclusive results re: a match (though even that one sounded impressively similar to the original voicemails, given Tuiasosopo’s actual voice). If this story has taught us anything, it’s to trust very, very little of what we hear. Given what we know now, it seems very believable that Tuiasosopo did the voice. If we had to guess whether he did it or not, we’d say yeah, he did. But if evidence that this was yet another spectacular deception suddenly emerged? Who could be surprised by now?
The rest of the program was filled with big revelations (Tuiasosopo said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a boy) and manipulative heart-tugging by Dr. Phil and his production team. There were times when Phil simply getting in Tuiasosopo’s parents’ face and screaming “YOU CRY AND YOU CRY NOW! DAMN IT, WHAT’S IT GONNA TAKE HERE?!?!” would’ve been about as subtle as what we actually saw on the screen.
As for the allegations of abuse – certainly, it would explain a whole lot as to how Tuiasosopo would become so troubled that he’d feel the need to create an entire fake persona, and fake relationship around that persona. And when someone not only says they were repeatedly raped as a child, then goes into horrifying detail about being raped, the mere urge to question it in the least feels downright gauche. But like we said, at this point in this story, nothing can be taken entirely at face value – especially not when the program was peppered with commercials teasing future Dr. Phil specials in which people who’d lied to him the first time they went on the program were now coming clean.
And that’s why we’re pretty damn tired of this story, even with unanswered questions out there (what of the reports that Tuiasosopo pulled off the Kekua hoax on other people before Manti Te’o, for example?). If we can’t really believe anything we hear, what’s the point?
Yeah, Tuiasosopo seemed convincing (well, until the end of the program, when his final apology sounded like he was reading it off cue cards). Yes, no matter the reason, he’s extremely troubled. But if his great gist is for pulling off scams, who’s to say everything we hear from isn’t part of yet another one? There can’t be any quick definitive, satisfying answers in this story, and that’s why we don’t think it’ll be long before everyone else grows as sick of this story – and the constant, concordant suspicion that we’ve all been had – as we are.