More than 20 years after Mary Kay Letourneau made national headlines for her affair with then-11-year-old student, Vili Fualaau — who she went on to marry and have two children with — the disgraced teacher is once again in the spotlight, as TMZ is reporting that the father-of-two, now 33, filed for legal separation earlier this month.
Shortly after Vili filed for separation, Mary Kay filed her own paperwork to have the case dismissed — prompting Vili to confess that it’s all “a publicity stunt.”
Shortly after the news broke, Vili stepped out with the couple’s younger daughter, Georgia.
He told Radar that he filed the paperwork so he could move forward with his “Cigaweed” business — he is hoping to become a licensed distributor — and said that the legal paperwork doesn’t indicate that their marriage is in trouble.
“There is a piece of paper that is filed but that doesn’t depict what is going on,” he explained. “Be patient. It’s not serious as people think it is… Maybe we’re sleeping in different rooms. The paperwork that is filed doesn’t have all that information.”
The two became infamous in March 1997, when she was arrested after her first husband tipped off the authorities that his estranged wife — with whom he shared four children with — began a romantic and sexual relationship with her former sixth grade student. Just months after her arrest, in May of the same year, she welcomed her first child with Vili, a daughter named Audrey.
She then pleaded guilty and was convicted to two counts of second-degree child rape, and was sentenced to six months behind bars (three of which were suspended) and ordered to three years of sex offender treatment; at the time, as long as she agreed to these terms — and agreed not to see Vili — she was not required to register as a sex offender or serve any additional time in jail.
In February 1998 — just two weeks after completing her time behind bars — she was caught having sex with her former student, violating terms of her plea deal, and was again impregnated by Vili. She was then sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in a state prison, and during that time gave birth to the couple’s second daughter, named Georgia.
When Mary Kay was released from prison in 2004, Vili — who was then 21 — requested a reversal of the no-contact order, which was approved by a judge. The two were then married in 2005.
Following their wedding, the two lived a mostly quiet life near the town where they met and together raised their two daughters.
The two gave a rare interview in 2015 — ten years after tying the knot — and introduced the world to their daughters, and Vili seemed to have remorse about their relationship.
“The reason for me telling them was just from, out of experience,” Vili mused after admitting he warned his young daughters about dating, urging them to move slowly.
“A relationship could lead to something that you think you wanted back then. You don’t really want it, maybe, years later.”
When asked how he felt about his daughters potentially dating their own teachers, he confused, “I don’t support younger kids being married or having a relationship with someone older. I don’t support it.”