Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o sat down with ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap in his first interview regarding the hoax surrounding someone he considered to be his late girlfriend.
"No. Never," Te'o said in a 2½-hour interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap.
"I wasn't faking it," he said. "I wasn't part of this."
Te'o said he didn't know for sure that "Lennay Kekua" never existed until Wednesday, when Ronaiah Tuiasosopo called Te'o and admitted he was behind the hoax.
Later Wednesday, Deadspin.com posted a story detailing an online relationship Te'o thought he had with Kekua which he says he learned was a hoax.
Te'o said he received a direct message from Tuiasosopo on Twitter where Tuiasosopo said he was the perpetrator, along with one other man and a woman.
"Two guys and a girl are responsible for the whole thing," Te'o said. Asked who they are, he said: "I don't know. According to Ronaiah, Ronaiah's one."
Te'o spoke at the IMG Training Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he is preparing for the NFL draft. There were no cameras at the interview, which was recorded.