Dr. Phil described the approach he adopted to interview Ronaiah Tuiasosopo last month on his afternoon talk show.
He simply assumed this guy was lying, Dr. Phil told Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Kimmel asked Dr. Phil about the method he used to question Tuiasosopo because, to Kimmel, the TV doc’s interrogation came across as particularly intense and relentless.
“When you sit down with a confessed liar that has perpetrated a multi-layered scam across an extended period of time, you gotta have a reasonable degree of skepticism,” Dr. Phil told Kimmel. “And my theory was, if his lips are moving, he’s lying.”
Tuiasosopo is the central figure behind the “on-line girlfriend” hoax that snared Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o. Te’o gave his first TV interview to Katie Couric. It was seen on her afternoon talk show last month.
In asking Dr. Phil about his interview with Tuiasosopo, Kimmel was focusing on the portion in which Tuiasosopo insisted he was the one impersonating a female whose voice Te’o heard on the phone. Dr. Phil didn’t believe him, and pressed Tuaisosopo to actually do the voice, which Tuiasosopo refused at first, then relented.
“When he told me that’s [him] on the phone, I look at him, I hear the voice, I’m thinking, You’re gonna have to prove to me this is you,” Dr. Phil said. “I continued to challenge and challenge and challenge until we got [to the truth].” Finally, the hoaxer went behind a curtain to do this female voice off-camera.
In the same segment, Dr. Phil told the incredible story of how his prized, restored 1957 Chevy was recovered by police after it was stolen, apparently, by a well-organized gang of thieves who were specializing in stealing vintage automobiles from well-heeled owners in southern California. The gang was infiltrated and finally broken up by law enforcement, who were able to engineer the return of Dr. Phil’s car because the gang was unable to sell it to anyone. The reason? The theft had received so much publicity in the news media that no prospective buyers would touch it.
Kimmel and Dr. Phil also talked about the nature of therapy and Kimmel admitted he is in it. On that subject, Dr. Phil admitted he was a terrible therapist when he was in private practice many years ago. “I was the worst marital therapist in the history of marital therapy,” Dr. Phil said, “because I didn’t have the temperament for it. This couple would come in and sit down and they would start bitchin’ and whinin’ and snipin’ at each other and I would sit there for like 15 minutes and say, ‘My God, no wonder you people can’t stand each other. I’ve known you for 15 minutes [and] I want to slap you both!”
Dr. Phil came on the “Kimmel” show to promote his new book — his eighth — called “Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World.”