Mary Kay Letourneau – the former teacher who made headlines in the 1990s for her sexual relationship with her 12-year-old student that she later married – died “peacefully” on Monday, July 6 at the age of 58 after a six-month battle with cancer.
Attorney David Gehrke – who represented Letourneau in her shocking case – told KOMO-TV that Letourneau had been battling stage 4 cancer. And, even though her death was expected, it was a sad occasion because “she was a good person.”
Here is an EXCLUSIVE statement given to me by the Letourneau and Fualaau families about the passing of Mary Kay Letourneau. pic.twitter.com/YFliUbejpv
— Danielle Bacher (@DBacherwrites) July 8, 2020
In a statement given to writer Danielle Bacher, the Fualaau and Letourneau families said they are “deeply saddened” about Mary Kay’s passing.
“Mary fought tirelessly against this terrible disease,” read the statement. “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.”
Letourneau’s loved ones also thanked the medical workers who took care of the former middle school teacher during her cancer fight, and they also noted that the “kindness and compassion of friends and others who learned of her condition along the way” was an “uplifting gift.”
Letourneau’s “collective family” asked for privacy and respect while they focused on the road ahead. They also asked that their boundaries and need for privacy be honored with “continued kindness and understanding.”
Mary Kay Letourneau, the Seattle teacher convicted in 1997 of raping a 13-year-old student she later married, has died of cancer, her former attorney says.
This replaces a previous tweet that incorrectly described Letourneau’s 1997 rape conviction. https://t.co/76EXMRkad4
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) July 8, 2020
“We will have no further statements or comments as we 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,” the statement concluded.
Letourneau was a married 34-year-old with four children when her relationship with her sixth grade student Vili Fualaau turned sexual in the summer of 1996. On the afternoon of June 19, 1996, police found Letourneau and Fualaau in a minivan that was parked in a Seattle suburb.
According to the New York Post, Letourneau told the police that Fualaau was 18, and that raised their suspicion about a sexual relationship. At first, she denied her relationship with Fualaau, but two months after they were caught together she became pregnant with Fualaau’s child.
In 1997, Letourneau pleaded guilty to rape, and while she was waiting to be sentenced she gave birth to her and Fualaau’s daughter, Audrey.
Mary Kay Letourneau, who made headlines in the 1990s for an affair with her underage student, has died after losing a battle with cancer. https://t.co/SrcRqehsoz pic.twitter.com/RejkB8uwGt
— KOMO News (@komonews) July 8, 2020
Letourneau made a plea deal and only served six months. Then, two weeks after her release, she was caught having sex with Fualaau again and was sent back to prison. At that time, Letourneau was pregnant with her and Fualaau’s second child, a baby girl named Georgia who she gave birth to behind bars.
Letourneau ended up serving seven years, and Fualaau’s mother raised the two girls until her release. On May 20, 2005, Letourneau and Fualaau married in a private ceremony in Woodinville, Washington.
The couple wrote a book together titled Un Seul Crime, L’Amour, or Only One Crime, Love. And, the USA network movie All American Girl told their controversial story.
She pled guilty in 1997 to 2 counts of felony second-degree rape of a child and ended up serving 7 years in prison. pic.twitter.com/cCYKRZhiCP
— EAST FEED. (@eastfeed) July 8, 2020
“I’m not a victim. I’m not ashamed of being a father. I’m not ashamed of being in love with Mary Kay,” said Fualaau in 2013.
After more than a decade of marriage, Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau split in 2017 when he filed for legal separation. However, they continued to live together and co-parent their daughters until late last year.