Te'o: Not involved in girlfriend hoax but just naive?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 18, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: First, Manti Te'o's other girlfriend, this one living and breathing. TMZ posting new photos showing Manti with a girl he apparently started dating shortly after the death of his fake girlfriend. He reportedly dated the St. Mary's college student two months before breaking up with her. And that's not all TMZ just found out. So we went straight to TMZ's Mike Walters for the latest.


VAN SUSTEREN: Mike, nice to see you. And boy, what a story, right?

MIKE WALTERS, TMZ.COM: Yes. Thanks for having me, Greta. This story is getting bigger and more unbelievable as it goes on.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, I understand TMZ spoke to a witness?

WALTERS: That's right. Basically, what happened is, a couple of people that were fans of Notre Dame, one being a booster that I spoke with, got involved on Twitter with this fake girlfriend and the fake girlfriend's sister, who then passed away. And during the time that they talked, she actually set up a meeting where she would go meet with the sister after the death and kind of give her condolences.

Well, guess what? When she showed up, the gentleman, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who's largely been blamed for this big hoax, was the one that showed up. We actually have a photograph on our Web site of them at the game.

Now, I will tell you, Greta, I just got off the phone with people very, very close to him and advising him on how to deal with this situation.

He was not involved in this hoax. I am telling you that after working on this story for several days and talking to a lot of people. This kid was just naive. He was involved with the girl on line. He started talking to her. He talked to her on the phone. And I know it sounds a little weird that he didn't have any physical contact, or maybe Web chat with her. But I can tell you his reaction now is honest and genuine, and that is coming from people very close with him. He was not involved in this hoax and he did not know about it.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, by who, you mean, you -- you mean Manti Te'o was not involved, not the friend who apparently had set up this imagery fiction -- this girlfriend, right?

WALTERS: That's right. I mean Manti Te'o, if you look at the reports that came out in the first few days, people are calling into question how did he not know about this, how do you have a relationship for over a year with a young lady in college when you've never seen her before, nor have you interacted with her in person?

And also, you know, people can't really believe this was such a great story during the Heisman campaign, where his grandmother and girlfriend died on the same day, and then the next Saturday, he goes out and he crushes everyone on the football field and it skyrockets him to become top level in the Heisman chase.

People started to question whether he kind of knew about the hoax and he used it to propel himself. But I can tell you that it's absolutely not true. I just don't see it, Greta, and I've talked to a lot of people about this.

But there is, like you said, one thing. There's a gentleman here that's going to have to deal with this, this guy who got on line and faked that he was somebody else and then got this all-star in their community in trouble, I think is going to have to pay. And I bet you that this kid is just torn apart by what happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I'm curious, though. Apparently, on December 6th, Manti learned about this, that it was a hoax. But then two days later, I think it was the Heisman day, is that he was still carrying the theme forward. Was it that he didn't know how to back out of it at that point? I mean, why was he still, you know, running with the ball, so to speak, two days later?

WALTERS: Well, that's a good question. Basically, what I'm being told is that -- you're right, on December 6th, he found out about it. He actually got a phone call from the same phone number that he had been talking to his girlfriend on, obviously being shocked by that, told his advisers at school. They started talking about it and he figured out -- listen, this guy was one of the biggest football players in the country. His team was undefeated going into a championship football game.

He decided, Look, I'm going to kind of let this slide because I don't want to have a distraction for my team. It's not fair. He kind of felt embarrassed, like, you know, this is the kind of thing that he didn't want to let out there right before the last two weeks and the big game of his career, of his life so far.

And you know what? A lot of people that I've talked to on the football team are telling me, Look, this was the right thing to do and the nice thing to do for the rest of his team, so that the whole time during the game, this wasn't the headline and the distraction for everybody, and instead, them playing football was the story.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, the guy who is behind the hoax -- any sort of reflection or thoughts on why -- was this just, like, a really -- this is an idea that really blew up in his face, a hoax that was -- may have sounded a good idea when he started it but it turned out to be a disaster, or was there some sort of sinister reason or monetary reason or is he trying to get even with Manti? Why the hoax?

WALTERS: Well, what I know so far, Greta, is that it looks like this thing is kind of new age social media prank. There's even a TV show on MTV called "Catfish," where they do this to people and they film it.

It sounds like, right now, it's just a sick, sick joke that went way too far and included a very naive kind of gullible person who we all see as a football player and this -- this magnetic guy, but in his personal life, he's quiet, he's religious, sheltered type person in high school and college, and fell for the trick.

Now, I can tell you that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is his name, and this guy has been in hiding ever since it happened. There's been news trucks out in front of his house for days. People are waiting for him to comment.

But I can tell you that so far, Manti Te'o has not said, This is the guy, I'm angry at him, I'm really pissed off. That hasn't happened.

But I think we'll probably hear from this guy and his family. And if you don't know the Tuiasosopos, Greta, very famous football family in the United States, several family members in the NFL, several family members coaches of major football teams.

So this has got to be very embarrassing for them, and I think in their community, they're probably going to figure out how to deal with this and come forward to the public.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, I do know one thing, next two days to get the very latest, I'm going to TMZ.com because I know you guys are all over this, so I urge -- I recommend...

WALTERS: And I come to Fox.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... other people do, as well. All right, always nice to see you. Thank you.

WALTERS: See you, Greta.