Mary Kay Letourneau has reportedly died.
The former schoolteacher, who had an affair with an adolescent student and was later convicted of raping him in a crime that garnered international attention, has reportedly died of cancer, according to a tweet from KING 5’s Susannah Frame. She was 58 years old at the time of her passing. Frame listed Letourneau’s cause of death as cancer.
She Was Arrested In March 1997, Went On To Marry Student She Allegedly Raped
Letourneau was arrested in 1997 for having a sexual relationship with her former student, Vili Fualaau. The couple first entered a relationship when Fualaau was 12 years old and Letourneau was his sixth-grade teacher, People magazine wrote.
Letourneau was ultimately convicted on child rape charges and sentenced to more than seven years in prison. The controversial relationship continued despite a court order that they stay apart, with Letourneau twice becoming pregnant with Fualaau’s children before he was 15.
As People noted, Fualaau was legally an adult by the time Letourneau was released from prison, and he petitioned the court to allow them to see each other. Letourneau, who had to register as a sex offender in Washington state, was allowed to be with her former student after the court dropped the restraining order. The two married in 2005 and had two daughters together, Georgia and Audrey.
Despite the controversial nature of their relationship, Letourneau and Fualaau settled into largely normal life after her release from prison, living quietly in the Seattle area and raising their daughters together.
As KOMO reported, Letourneau’s death was confirmed by her attorney, David Gehrke, who said that the former teacher passed away on Tuesday after a long illness.
“It was expected but sad anyway,” he said. “She was a good person.”
Letourneau’s reported battle with cancer played out mostly in private, with the former teacher and convicted sex offender not speaking about her illness or treatment. Recent reports had centered mostly on her struggling relationship with Fualaau.
Letourneau Was ‘Trying To Pick Up The Pieces’ After Split With Former Student
#BREAKING former teacher Mary Kay Letourneau has died of cancer as confirmed by her attorney David Gehrke. She married her young student Vili Fualaau causing a huge controversy. Gehrke said, “Expected but sad anyway. She was a good person!” #KOMONews pic.twitter.com/8wAfbZooLl
— Keith Eldridge (@KeithKOMO4) July 8, 2020
Letourneau and Fualaau legally separated in 2017 and split for good late last year, leaving the former teacher trying to find a way to move on.
“She’s trying to pick up the pieces and move on, but she’s feeling kind of lost,” a source close to Letourneau told People magazine. “She’s not sure what to do next.”
The split had been a long time coming, the report noted. The source said that the two slept in different rooms, and their relationship lost its spark despite their attempts to reconcile.
“The intimacy was gone,” they told People magazine. “That’s not to say they didn’t love each other, but it wasn’t what it used to be.”
The couple moved into separate homes last year, with Letourneau reportedly struggling to adjust to single life.
“She has her place and he has his,” the source said. “It’s completely separate, and now she’s facing life as a single woman pushing 60 years old. It’s not what she wanted, but it’s her reality.”