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Dr. Phil Files Federal Lawsuit Against Gawker Media Over Manti Te’o Interview

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Dr. Phil McGraw onstage at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on April 19, 2009 in Unversal City, Calif. (credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Dr. Phil McGraw onstage at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on April 19, 2009 in Unversal City, Calif. (credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) — A production company owned by television psychologist Dr. Phil has filed a federal lawsuit in Texas claiming improper use of an interview he conducted with the man who perpetrated a hoax on former Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o.

Texas-based Peteski Productions is claiming in the suit filed Monday that Gawker Media committed copyright infringement by airing portions of Phil McGraw’s interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

The 22-year-old Tuiasosopo has said he created the online persona of Lennay Kekua, a nonexistent woman whom Te’o said he fell in love with despite never meeting her in person.

The suit claims one of Gawker’s properties, the sports blog Deadspin, aired part of the interview before a February broadcast of “Dr. Phil.”

A Gawker representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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