*The pedophilic affair between teacher Mary Kay Letourneau and her former sixth grade student Vili Fualaau gave the world of media a lot to talk about in 1997 when their affair went public after she became pregnant with his child. It was a scandal heard around the world; and people were disgusted, angry and beside themselves with rage. And seeing the teacher arrested and in her orange jumpsuit did little to calm the rage.
Well, they’re b-a-c-k.
Letourneau was then a 34-year-old woman with four kids, who lived and taught school in Seattle. Vili had been her 13 year old student when the two participated in the illicit affair for which Mary was arrested and at first, served only six months in prison–under the condition she stay away from the boy and attend sex-offender counseling.
She couldn’t. And her second incarceration lasted seven and a half years.
Upon her release she married Vili (he was 18) and today at 53, to her husband’s 31, the couple who are now parents of two teenage daughters (both born in prison, one conceived before she got there) speaks to Barbara Walters on 20/20 as they celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary and the journey that brought them to this point.
Needless to say, the “comments” section went cray-cray, with posts seeing this as anything but a fairy tale.
“I don’t support younger kids being married or having a relationship with someone older. I don’t support it,” Vili tells Barbara Walters in the interview which is set to be a real ratings riser for ABC tonight.
The couple, who mark their 10-year wedding anniversary this evening, talks to Walters in an exclusive interview to shed light on what has kept them together for a decade, despite their very public and forbidden relationship.
“If it wasn’t strong enough in the beginning, it wouldn’t have carried through those years,” Letourneau-Fualaau told Walters.
For those too young to know about this tumultuous news story, prepare to be shocked as Mary describes how her and Vili’s relationship advanced to sexual when the boy was in middle school. As his teacher she started to spend more and more time with Vili under the auspices that she was helping him develop a gift for drawing. But by the end of the school year, she admits to a bond with the student that had progressed to a full-out affair by summer.
The teacher describes the first sexual encounter and it begs the question from anyone with a pulse: where was this child’s parents?
“The incident was a late night that it didn’t stop with a kiss,” Mary said. “And I thought that it would and it didn’t.”
The interview debuts Barbara Walters’ upcoming new series, “American Scandal,” on Investigation Discovery, which revisits some of her most famous interviews.
Walters, a legendary figure in the journalism world, who’s interviews have included Kings, Queens and Presidents, asked the former teacher and ex-convict if she felt guilty or disgusted with herself for having the affair.
Mary said, “I loved him very much, and I kind of thought, ‘why can’t it ever just be a kiss?'”
But it was more than just a kiss, much more.
By the end of summer 1996 the teacher was pregnant with the young students’ child. A love letter to the boy, written by Mary and discovered by her husband, alerted the authorities who arrested her.
The media went ballistic and the story of the Seattle teacher-student sex scandal was spread across the front pages of every available news outlet. The teacher gave birth to her and the students’ first child, Audrey, on May 29, 1997. Three months later, Mary pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child rape. On Friday, Nov. 14, 1997, she was sentenced to 89 months in prison.
But after six months, Mary was paroled on the condition that she stay away from Vili and attend therapy for sex offenders. But her freedom didn’t last. In only a short time, Mary and Vili got together and created another baby, and within a month of being paroled, she was back in prison for ignoring the court order and her sentence was reinstated.
Mary gave birth to a second daughter, Georgia, behind bars on October 16, 1998.
Mary’s husband then filed for divorce and moved their four children to Alaska.
For Vili, the journey to get where he is today has not been easy. He said he battled depression over the years.
“I’m surprised I’m still alive today,” Vili said. “I went through a really dark time.”
Read much more of the story at Yahoo News and catch a glimpse of the video report too.
But here are just a few of the comments from readers.
This makes it sound like this is a fairytale in which “they all lived happily ever after”. Mary and Vili may be happy but look at the devastation they created. A broken marriage and uprooted family, a former husband who had to be humiliated, broken parole, a repeated sex offender, raping a child, 4 children who were without their mother during adolescence, 2 babies without their mother, depression, a now forbidden and tainted profession, a sex offender label and who knows the hurt created for former friends, co-workers and family members. “Love” does not conquer all.
Watch Barbara Walters’ full exclusive interview with Mary Kay Letourneau Fualaau and Vili Fualaau, and meet their two daughters, on ABC News “20/20” Friday, April 10, at 10 p.m. ET.