Mary Kay Letourneau Dead at 58 After Cancer Battle

The former teacher, who was convicted of raping the 13-year-old student she would later go on to marry, died of stage 4 cancer.

By McKenna Aiello Jul 08, 2020 2:45 AMTags
Watch: Mary Kay Letourneau Dies of Cancer at 58

Mary Kay Letourneau has died at the age of 58. 

The infamous public figure and former teacher, who was convicted of raping the 13-year-old student she would later go on to marry, died of stage 4 cancer. Letourneau's attorney confirmed news of her passing to NBC. 

Letourneau was 34-years-old when she began a sexual relationship with sixth grader Vili Fualaau. In 1997, while awaiting sentencing on second-degree rape charges of Fualaau, the Washington-based middle school teacher gave birth to their first daughter, Audrey.

At the time, Letourneau was ordered to spend six months in jail and stay away from Fualaau, however upon her release in 1998, authorities discovered that the pair had resumed their relationship. Letourneau's plea agreement was revoked and she served a seven-and-a-half year prison sentence. 

Letourneau gave birth to the couple's second daughter, Georgia, while behind bars in 1998. Upon her release in 2004, Letourneau and Fualaau, then 21, married. They filed for legal separation in 2017. Letourneau had four children from her first marriage, which ended at the time of her trial. 

Teacher's Pet: Mary Kay Letourneau and the Forever Shocking Story of Her Student Affair

Letourneau's son from her previous marriage, Steven Letourneau Jr., shared a statement with NBC News on behalf of the Fualaau and Letourneau families.

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"We are deeply saddened to share the very difficult news that our beloved Mary passed away peacefully on July 6th 2020 after a six month battle since being diagnosed with stage IV, or metastatic, cancer. Mary fought tirelessly against this terrible disease," the statement read.

It concluded in part, "It is in that spirit that we ask for privacy and respect for our desire to focus on the road ahead for all of us who make up Mary's collective family. We ask that our boundaries and need for privacy be honored with continued kindness and understanding."

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Ahead of their 10-year anniversary in 2015, the couple sat down with Barbara Walters for a tell-all interview with their daughters. 

When it came to discussing the origins of their marriage with Audrey and Georgia, Letourneau said, "There was never a sit-down chat: ‘Now is the time we're going to talk to our children about this, They seemed to already know because they grew up with it. There's just never been a, ‘Wow, we better explain.'"

In the years since, Letourneau and Fualaau shied away from life in the public eye.