The lie he told his father led his family to tell reporters that Te'o had met his girlfriend, he told ESPN.
The calls from the woman continued after December 6, but Te'o did not answer, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told reporters this week.
At that point, Te'o confided in his parents and at least two friends and a girlfriend he had at the time about the calls, the source with knowledge of the matter told CNN. He and the "real" girlfriend have since ended that relationship.
The Heisman Trophy was awarded December 8, and Te'o continued to make comments about losing his girlfriend.
In the ESPN interview, Te'o said he wasn't fully convinced it was a hoax until Wednesday, Schaap said.
Woman says her picture was part of hoax, though she didn't know Te'o
One woman whose photos were part of the hoax says that she was exploited herself.
Donna Te'i told CNN earlier this week that she'd never talked to Te'o, nor did she have any involvement in the online plot involving the Notre Dame player and the woman he believed was his girlfriend.
But the 26-year-old woman is part of the story. She was identified in pictures linked to a Twitter account using the name uilanirae, which has since been taken down, as the sister of the apparently nonexistent girlfriend known as Lennay Kekua, according to Deadspin.
Donna Te'i acknowledged she was portrayed in the online images as Kekua's sister, but not of her own accord. Her father, Luteru Lou Te'i -- who spoke to CNN on Saturday, as his daughter was not at home -- said these pictures were illicitly taken from the Facebook page of another of his daughters.
Donna Te'i herself met Ronaiah Tuiasosopo -- the Samoan-American, like her, who Mantei Te'o said created the hoax -- years ago through an acquaintance, and they came into contact again following the August death of her boyfriend, former University of Southern California football standout Fred Matua. Mutua was eulogized by Ronaiah's father, the Rev. Titus Tuiasosopo, according to Luteru Lou Te'i, who lives with his daughter in Carson, California.
At some point, pictures of Donna Te'i became part of the scheme. Luteru Lou Te'i, 51, said his daughter believes Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was responsible, since he called her later to apologize for using her image.
"I ... don't know what his motive was, but (Tuiasosopo) admitted to her that he did it," said Luteru Lou Te'i, noting this conversation happened "way before the story broke."
Donna Te'i has been "distraught" since Deadspin first ran with the story, according to her father.
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and his family have not responded to CNN requests for comment on this and other allegations tied to the hoax.