Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualauu’s split may not be as amicable as Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s “conscious uncoupling.” Letourneau has now filed a petition to dismiss the separation case brought on by her 33-year-old husband. After 12 years of marriage, TMZ reported that Mary Kay’s husband filed documents requesting a legal separation. According to sources, the motion filed by the 55-year-old former Seattle school teacher did not cite a basis for her to dismiss the legal separation request.
Vili’s lawyer said Mary Kay will move forward with his petition and has done nothing to suggest he wants it dismissed. Media outlets, particularly TMZ, asked Vili’s lawyer if his separation petition was a prelude for divorce, but she had no comment.
It is uncertain under what basis Mary Kay wishes to object to Vili’s decision to separate.
In 1996, Mary Kay Letourneau, 34, was a married mom-of-four who taught at a Seattle elementary school. Vili Fualaau was a 12-year-old sixth-grade student in her class. Mary and her former student began a sexual and romantic relationship that ultimately led to nationwide television coverage.
Letourneau’s relationship with the boy was first exposed after a relative of her husband found out about it and told police.
Mary Kay served seven years in jail in addition to other multiple jail stints. After the couple was married in 2005, multiple books have been written about their “forbidden love.” After 10 years of dating and 12 years of marriage, Mary Kay and Vili have two children together.
A source close to the couple revealed to People magazine that Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili have been having marital issues for a long time.
“They’ve been having issues for a while now. They tried to work through them, but it didn’t work. They’re still committed to being good parents to their children.”
In March of 1997, after Letourneau’s first arrest, she gave birth to a daughter named Audrey while she was out on bail. Mary pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child rape and was sentenced to six months in jail. Letourneau was required to undergo sex offender treatment.
After serving three months in jail, she was released. Following her release, just two weeks later, Mary was caught having sex with Fualaau in a car, according to Inside Edition. The then-mom-mom-of-five was arrested again and sentenced to seven years for violating the terms of her parole. While in prison, Mary gave birth to her second child with Fualaau, a girl named Georgia.
Mary Kay Letourneau Says Not So Fasts Vili, Moves to Dismiss His Separation Docs https://t.co/uIGjmNTpIQ— TMZ (@TMZ) May 31, 2017
In 2004, Letourneau was released from the Washington Corrections Center for Women.
One year later, Fualaau and Letourneau were married in front of 250 guests. They reportedly received six figures for the TV rights to their wedding.
Proving their relationship sparked controversy beyond their 22-year age difference, the couple co-authored a book published in France under the title Only One Crime, Love, in 1999. In 2009, they hosted a nightclub event in Seattle called “Hot for Teacher” night where Fualaau served as DJ for the night. They took photos and signed T-shirts.
In 2004, Robin D. Stone, a writer for the New York Times, wrote a column about how Letourneau’s story would have been portrayed if she were a man in a relationship with a female student.
The article suggested there is no outcry from the public for her to be locked up because people saw Letourneau as “the siren who betrayed her husband and abandoned her four children in a misguided quest for love.”
Mary Kay Letourneau’s former student files for separation from her 21 years after their scandalous affair https://t.co/3LBduTUrzS— TIME (@TIME) May 31, 2017
Vili and Mary’s courtship was consistently described as a “relationship” as opposed to her being called a predator or him being called a victim. During the Letourneau saga, headlines across the country trivialized the dynamic between the couple with headlines like “Boy-Toy Bliss For Mary Kay” from the New York Post or “Mad About the Boy” published by Time in 2001.
The magazine alleged that Letourneau suffered from an untreated mental illness and depression from her previous miscarriage years earlier that led to her behavior.
In 2015, on the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary, Letourneau opened up to ABC News about the strength of the couple’s bond.
“If it wasn’t strong enough in the beginning, it wouldn’t have carried through those years.”
Fualaau shared similar sentiments about Mary Kay Letourneau in an interview with People in 2006.
“I think, ‘What would my life have been like if I had never made a move on Mary?… What if I had kept it as a crush and left it at that? Where would I be and where would she be — what would life be like?”
[Featured Image by Alan Berner and Matt Brashears/AP Images]