A woman, who made headlines twenty-two years ago for her infamous relationship with a student, is speaking out and complaining about the widespread media criticism she received by then.
Mary Kay Letourneau is 56-years-old now. In 1996, she shocked the world with her controversial relationship with Vili Fualaau, a sixth-grade student who was 12-years-old at that time. The former teacher admitted to having sex with the student and later went on to marry and have children with him.
Letourneau appeared on A&E in a preview for her new documentary. She broke down in sobs as she spoke about the backlash the couple received by the media
“It's shock value. That's what it was all about. Shock. I call it media carnage. Road kill. Blood. Everybody wants to hear the story. Whether it's because they want to analyze it or criticize it. It's been 20 years but it's still there,” she said.
Not only that. She went ahead and defended her relationship.
“[It] sounds young, I get it. He was young, I get it. Am I sorry that he’s the father of my children? No I’m not. Twenty years later, people ask how it turned into romance. Back in the day, I accepted the kiss, you know. I did. He wasn’t my student when that happened. For some reason, the kiss, it seemed very right,” she added.
However, she admitted if she had handled things differently the situation would have been different for Fualaau.
“Maybe I am just naive in that area of life. Maybe it could have stayed just a kiss. I always thought, ‘What if it could have?’” she said.
The controversial relationship began in 1996 at Shorewood Elementary School in Burien, Washington. A year later, they reportedly engaged and sexual activities. However, a relative informed police authorities about their relationship.
As a result, Letourneau was arrested on child rape charges for which she served seven years behind bars.
At first, she was sent to prison for six months and after release was told to maintain no contact with Fualaau. While on bail, she gave birth to their first child. However, she was re-arrested when the two were caught having sex in a car.
She was sent to prison again and this time she was pregnant with their second child.
Letourneau was married before and had four children from that marriage. Her husband later filed for divorce and moved to Alaska with their children. She was released from prison in 2004 after serving her sentence.
After her release, the two got married this time and began raising their daughters together. They came back in limelight in recent years as Fualaau at first filed for separation, however, later withdrew from the case.
Banner / Thumbnail : Getty Images, Ron Wurzer