Mary Kay Letourneau, the former Seattle elementary school teacher convicted of child rape for having sex with a 12-year-old student, shared new details about the illicit affair in an emotional interview for an A&E Biography special titled “Mary Kay Letourneau: Autobiography.”
Her former student, Vili Fualaau, whom she eventually married, her ex-husband Steve Letourneau, attorneys and friends also dished on the forbidden romance for the special, which aired Tuesday.
Letourneau was convicted in 1997 of two counts of child rape and ultimately served nearly eight years in prison for her affair with Fualaau.
The couple married in 2005 and now has two daughters together.
Fualaau, whom Letourneau described as “insistent,” made the first move while she was still married, according to Letourneau.
“He did corner me and said, ‘I’m in love with someone,'” Letourneau said.
“I said, ‘does she know that you’re in love with her?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know, does she?'”
Letourneau recalls looking Fualaau in the eyes for the first time and asking him to “hold that for a long, long, long time.”
“I thought I said the right thing,” she said. “Guess not.”
Still, she denies having crossed any lines while Fualaau was her student. She insists their relationship began once he was no longer in her classroom, when they were both enrolled in classes at a community college.
“I was a teacher, and Vili was once a student. But there was nothing going on at all when he was a student of mine,” Letourneau said.
“The make-believe is that this was a teacher-student relationship. It never was,” she said.
Despite being convicted of a crime, Letourneau says she has no regrets about the affair.
“Am I sorry that he’s the father of my children and we’re married and this is the man of my life? No, I am not,” Letourneau said.
Fualaau defended the relationship too.
“At the end of the day it was a real love story,” he said.
Fualaau said he initially approached Letourneau after being challenged by his classmates. He wanted to prove he could get any girl he wanted, and bet his pals that he could have sex with the teacher.
“If you want someone to know that you like them, you let them know. If they don’t like you then you don’t try to pursue it anymore,” he said.
Letourneau confessed that the pair’s relationship turned sexual the summer after Fualaau completed 6th grade. He was 13, she was 34.
“When the sexual relationship started, it seemed natural,” Letourneau said. “Should I have known better? I should have.”