Mary Kay Letourneau, the former school teacher who famously served time in prison for second-degree child rape after admitting to a sexual relationship with one of her sixth-graders, and the student, who became her husband, have debuted their now-teenage daughters and open up about the sex scandal and married life in a new interview with Barbara Walters.
The 53-year-old and the former student, Vii Fualaau, now 31, got married after she was released from jail and will next month celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. They talked about their relationship and their kids in an interview with Walters that is set to air on ABC News' 20/20 on Friday at 10 p.m. ET. A photo of the two with daughters Audrey, 17, and Georgia, 16, as well as clips from sit-down, were released earlier this week.
"It is our 10-year anniversary and we already know that no matter how protective we are, that there's going to be a wave of intrusion in our life right now that we can't stop," Mary, who also goes by her married name, Mary Kay Fualaau, told Walters. "So it's about doing the most responsible thing to protect our girls for the inevitable."
ABC News reported that the couple's daughters now go to school in the same school district Mary used to teach in and that she and Vili had told them how they met.
"There was never a sit-down chat, 'Now is the time we're going to talk to our children about this,'" Mary told Walters. "They seemed to already know...because they grew up with it...There's just never been a 'Wow, we better explain.'"
Mary and Vili met in 1991 when he was 7 years old and a student in her second grade class in Seattle. She was married at the time and she and her first husband were raising four children. She and Vili began a sexual relationship in the summer of 1996, when she was 34 and he was a 12-year-old student in her sixth grade class. He was just a year and a half older than her and her husband's eldest son. Mary got pregnant.
In March 1997, she was arrested for second-degree child rape after her husband's relative reported her to police. The following May, while free on bail, she gave birth to Audrey.
"It was a huge change in my life, for sure," Vili told Walters, about becoming a father. "I don't feel like I had the right support, or, you know, the right help behind me...from anyone in general. I mean, my friends couldn't help me, 'cause they had no idea what it was like to be a parent, I mean, 'cause we're all, 14, 15."
He said he battled depression and that he wishes he had "better guidance through everything."
"It was really confusing to me," he said. "We're gonna label this kid as a 'victim' and we're gonna make this woman an example for all other teachers who try to go down the same path."
In August 1997, Mary pleaded guilty to the charges and was given a six-month jail sentence and ordered to undergo sex-offender treatment and to stay away from Vili. Audrey was sent to live with his mother, The New York Times reported.
Mary was released from jail early, after spending 80 days behind bars. in January 1998, and was weeks later arrested again after she and Vili were spotted together in a car. Inside, authorities found a box with $6,500 in cash, baby clothes and a hidden passport, the outlet said. She was then sentenced to seven years and five months in prison. During her incarceration, she gave birth to Georgia. At the time, Vili was 15 years old.
Amid the controversy, Mary and her husband divorced and he was granted custody of their children. She told ABC News that they are "very close with their sisters."
Mary was released from prison in 2004 and was forced to register as a sex offender. Less than a year later, she and Vili, then 21 years old, got married. Their daughters served as flower girls at their wedding.
ABC News reported that Mary, who is still registered as a sex offender, currently works as a legal assistant and Vili has a job at a home and garden center and also DJ's, using the name DJ Headline.
"If one of your daughters came to you and said, 'I'm sleeping with my teacher,' what would you say?" Walters asked the couple.
"What?" Vili replied, laughing. "I think it would be the same reaction that any parent would have, you know, if their child came up and said, you know, 'I'm in love with my teacher.'"
"I don't support younger kids being married or having a relationship with someone older," he added. "I don't support it."