Notre Dame Linebacker Manti T'eo continues to say he was the victim of a cruel hoax after learning his online and deceased girlfriend never existed.
Observers say T'eo will come away from the experience viewed as incredibly gullible or an incredible liar.
Psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini says while it is certainly possible to carry on an online love affair, the lies that motivated whoever is behind the hoax are the kinds of things that become reality over time.
"They see what's happening. Then they tell it again and before they know it, they're telling everyone," says Rapini. "They begin believing that is what happened. That becomes part of their life story."
Notre Dame is standing by T'eo, saying a team of investigators have identified an online trail of messages, they say, show the perpetrators at work.
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