Manti Te’o gives emotional thanks to fans in video after Netflix documentary details catfishing

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o poses with the Bronko Nagurski Trophy during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. The award is given annually to the national top collegiate defensive player of the year. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)AP

Manti Te’o expressed an emotional thank you on Instagram to fans who offered support to him after the release of a Netflix documentary.

It’s been almost 10 years since it was reported that the former Notre Dame star was catfished. Te’o faced ridicule back when the story broke in 2012.

On Tuesday, Netflix debuted “The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist,” detailing Te’o’s the events around the catfishing scandal. Te’o once a punchline now has, it appears, has the support of fans.

“I just wanted to come out here real quick to give a heartfelt thank you to everybody who has come through and has shown so much love to me and my family, for your messages, for your comments,” Te’o said in his video post. “It’s been amazing to me to hear the battles that we’re all facing, the challenges that we’re facing in our lives at this time and how the documentary has given some of us hope, the extra push just to keep going, if there’s anything that I wanted from this thing was just to give some of us hope who needed it, to tell those who needed some love that they’re loved, and to help them to forgive.”

Te’o was catfished by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, now a transgender woman who goes by Naya. Te’o told “ET” he insisted Tuiasosopo be a part of the documentary.

“I’m grateful that Naya was able to go on there, and I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable for Naya as well, but I wanted it,” Te’o told ET. “I told (’Untold’ directors) Tony Vainuku and Ryan Duffy I wanted it to be the story. That’s what was so great. Everybody said it’s my story. No, I wanted it to be the story. (Because) when this thing comes out I don’t want it to just be one-sided. I didn’t want it to just be me. I wanted it to be everybody. And again, it was the entire truth and I think that’s what people really love about it. There was no stone left unturned, and definitely it was a powerful experience.”