Society
Society

Mary Kay Letourneau And Former Student Vili Fualaau Split

| by Lauren Briggs

Mary Kay Letourneau, the teacher imprisoned for more than seven years for having an affair with Vili Fualaau, her then-12-year-old student whom she went on to marry, is splitting from him after a marriage of 12 years.

Fualaau filed for legal separation earlier in May, reports TMZ. The pair married in 2005, years after they began a sexual relationship in 1996, when Letourneau was 34 and married with four children.

They celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in 2015.

"It was a huge relief to actually get married ... [after] just going through all those years and then having so many questions and them not being answered," Fualaau told Barbara Walters during a 2015 interview, according to ABC.

Letourneau revealed news of the affair in 1997, when she became pregnant with her former sixth grade student's child. According to Letourneau, she and Fualaau became close to each other during the school year and the relationship developed into something more during the summer, said Letourneau.

"The incident was a late night that it didn't stop with a kiss," she told Walters. "And I thought that it would and it didn't … I loved him very much, and I kind of thought: 'Why can't it ever just be a kiss?'"

The former teacher, who is now registered as a sex offender, pleaded guilty in May 1997 to two counts of second-degree child rape, shortly after giving birth to her first child by Fualaau. She was released on parole after serving six months in prison, on the condition that she cut all contact with Fualaau.

However, she became pregnant by Fualaau again and quickly landed back in prison to complete her 89-month sentence. Around this time, her husband filed for divorce and moved out with their four children.

Meanwhile, Fualaau was having problems of his own. He suffered from severe depression -- which he described as "a really dark time" -- and had nobody to help him through it.

"I don't feel like I had the right support, the right help behind me ... from my family, from anyone, in general," he recalled. "I mean, my friends couldn't help me because they had no idea what it was like to be a parent, because we were all 14, 15."

The only person he needed to talk to, he said, was Letourneau. But he was banned from visiting her in prison.

She was released in the summer of 2004. They married 10 months later, when Fualaau was 21.

They remained protective of their two daughters, not wanting them to have a similar story to tell as their parents.

"A relationship could lead to something that you think you wanted back then," Fualaau recounted telling his teenagers. "You don't really want it, maybe, years later."

Sources: TMZ, ABC News / Photo credit: Pixabay

Was Letourneau's sentence harsh enough?
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