Mary Kay Letourneau

Mary Kay Letourneau, the sixth grade teacher who became infamous in the 1990s for raping her 13-year-old student before going on to marry him, died on Tuesday at the age of 58. 

Mary Kay Letourneau Dies After Battle With Cancer

People magazine reported that Letourneau’s death was confirmed by her family, who said that she died “peacefully” after a six-month battle with stage 4 cancer.

Letourneau was a 34-year-old married mother of four working as a sixth grade teacher in Seattle, Washington when her affair with her student Vili Fualaau came to light in 1997.

Her initial sentence was six months with three months suspended, for second-degree rape of a child. However, when she was released, police caught her having sex with Fualaau in a car. She was then sentenced to seven years in prison from 1998-2004.

Letourneau had gave birth to her first daughter, Audrey, while waiting for her initial sentence. She had their second daughter, Georgia, while in prison the second time.

Vili Fualaau

The former middle school teacher was imprisoned again in 1988 after breaking parole to see Fualaau. She had their second daughter while in prison. 

After her release, Letourneau shocked the world by marrying Fualaau in 2005, who was an adult by that time.

Mary Kay Letourneau Vili Fualaau

Letourneau And Fualaau Families Mourn Her

The Fualaau and Letourneau families released a joint statement after her death. It said that they were “deeply saddened” by the loss.

“Mary fought tirelessly against this terrible disease,” the families said. “Mary, and all of us, found great strength in having our immediate and extended family members together to join her in this arduous struggle. We did our very best to care for Mary and one another as we kept her close and stayed close together.”

They ended their statement by saying that they wanted to “celebrate and honor the wishes of our wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, beloved family member and loyal friend and concentrate on caring for one another.”

Letourneau And Fualaau’s Split

While Letourneau and Fualaau split in 2017, they continued living together. The two played an active role in the lives of their two daughters.

Mary Kay Letourneau

Their split only became official last year, and they finally began living apart after February of 2019. However, Letourneau’s friend David Gehrke told TODAY that Fualaau was still by her side for the final two months of her life. 

“Vili moved back from California, gave up his life there, and for the last two months of Mary’s life he stood by her 24/7 taking care of her,” Gehrke said. “So yes, they were divorced and they had their spats, but they were always in love with each other.”

“(Fualaau) knew that this was Mary’s end coming, fast moving, and for her sake and the family’s sake, and for his sake, he came back up and was with her, and it meant the world to her,” he added. “And I know it meant the world to Vili, as painful as it was.”

BACKSTORY: Mary Kay Letourneau’s Former Student and Husband Files For Separation

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