Mary Kay Letourneau, a onetime trainer who grew to become a tabloid fixture within the late 1990s after she raped a 13-year-old pupil and later married him after serving a jail sentence, died on Monday close to Seattle. She was 58.
Her lawyer, David Gehrke, stated the trigger was most cancers. At her dying, he stated, she was surrounded by her kids and Vili Fualaau, the previous pupil she later married.
Ms. Letourneau and Mr. Fualaau had two kids collectively earlier than he turned 15. They each defended the connection as consensual, and the couple married in 2005 after she had served a seven-year jail time period.
Ms. Letourneau was broadly condemned for her predatory conduct towards the kid, however many individuals lengthy held a fascination with their relationship, which continued effectively into Mr. Fualaau’s maturity. The couple cut up up in 2019.
Ms. Letourneau was a trainer within the Highline Faculty District, close to Seattle, the place she taught Mr. Fualaau within the second and sixth grades. She was 34 when she started a sexual relationship with Mr. Fualaau in 1996, when he was 12 or 13.
They’d their first little one in 1997 as she awaited sentencing after pleading responsible to expenses of second-degree little one rape. After serving three months of a decreased sentence in jail, she defied courtroom orders to steer clear of Mr. Fualaau, resulting in her return to jail for a seven-year sentence. She gave start to their second little one in 1998, shortly after starting her second stint in jail.
That yr, they co-wrote a guide they titled “Un Seul Crime, L’Amour,” or “Solely One Crime, Love.” Mr. Fualaau has maintained lately that he didn’t take into account her abusive.
Upon her launch from jail in 2004, Ms. Letourneau was required to haven’t any contact with Mr. Fualaau, then 21. However he fought to have the order eliminated, and the couple married in 2005.
She had persistently portrayed the connection as a forbidden love.
“Am I sorry he’s the daddy of my kids, and that we’re married and that is the person of my life? No, I’m not,” she stated in an A&E documentary in 2018.
Ms. Letourneau, born in Tustin, Calif., attended Arizona State College, the place she met Steve Letourneau, her first husband. The couple had 4 kids collectively and divorced in 1999, whereas she was in jail.
Her father, John Schmitz, was an ultraconservative U.S. consultant who ran for president in 1972 as a member of the American Impartial Occasion. One among her brothers, Joseph E. Schmitz, was the inspector normal of the Division of Protection, an govt at Blackwater Worldwide and a one-time overseas coverage adviser for President Trump. One other brother, John P. Schmitz, was a deputy counsel to President George H.W. Bush.
Anne Bremner, a lawyer who was a buddy of Ms. Letourneau’s for almost 20 years, stated that as she neared dying Ms. Letourneau hoped that folks would see her as somebody who had served her time and gone on to lift two daughters with Mr. Fualaau, and to have a constructive impression on the individuals round her.
“She was at all times a extremely good individual,” Ms. Bremner stated. “She was at all times a extremely good buddy.”
Mr. Fualaau stated within the A&E documentary that “on the finish of the day, it was an actual love story.”
However, he added, “Numerous issues that ought to have gone via my thoughts on the time weren’t going via my thoughts.”
Mike Baker contributed reporting.