Coming to terms. Vili Fualaau “lost a piece of himself” when ex-wife Mary Kay Letourneau died at 58 of stage 4 cancer, his friend reveals in a new interview. The former couple maintained a platonic relationship, years after the school teacher served prison time for having sex with her then-sixth-grade student Fualaau.
“They didn’t speak every day, but she would update him on her cancer treatment,” Fualaau’s friend tells People. “At the beginning, the talk was that she was going to beat it, that even though the prognosis wasn’t good, that she’d fight with everything she had, and that she had a shot of surviving it.”
As her illness worsened, Letourneau’s loved ones began thinking “she was going to need a miracle.” Then, her cancer spread further in June. At that point, the mother of six “started saying her goodbyes.”
Letourneau shares daughters Audrey, 22, and Georgia, 21, with Fualaau, and has four other children, Steven Jr., 36, Mary Claire, 33, Nicholas, 29, and Jacqueline, 27, with her previous husband, Steve Letourneau.
Prior to her death, “she would talk to Vili or he would call her to see how she was doing,” his friend tells the outlet about their dynamic post-split.
“The marriage [was over], but they still had love for each other. They had children together and he would always say that she was his first love. So of course he is sad at the loss. He’s sad for the girls, but he’s also sad for himself.”
Letourneau, who was 34 at the time, was arrested and charged with child rape in 1997 after her former husband found out about her affair with Fualaau, now 37. She was later found guilty of having a sexual relationship with her pupil and served seven years in prison.
After her stint behind bars, she and Fualaau married in 2005. By 2017, he filed for legal separation and their divorce was finalized in 2019.
When he found out about her grim prognosis, Fualaau “uprooted his life” and moved back to Washington from California so he could be around “24/7 taking care of her,” Letourneau’s attorney, David Gehrke, told Today on July 8.
Letourneau was living in the Seattle suburb of Des Moines leading up to her death.
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