Mary Kay Letourneau's Ex-Husband Vili Fualaau Slams "Ripoff" May December Film

Vili Fualaau, ex-husband and former student of late sex offender Mary Kay Letourneau, shares his thoughts on the May December, a film inspired by their scandalous life story.

By Corinne Heller Jan 04, 2024 5:09 PMTags
Watch: Mary Kay Letourneau Dies of Cancer at 58

Vili Fualaau is calling out filmmakers of May December.

The ex-husband of late convicted sex offender Mary Kay Letourneau is sharing his thoughts about the film, which was inspired by the former couple's real-life, controversial romance. According to Fualaau, no one working on the film ever reached out to him for consulting purposes.

"If they had reached out to me, we could have worked together on a masterpiece," the 40-year-old told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Jan. 4. "Instead, they chose to do a ripoff of my original story."

Fualaau continued, "I'm offended by the entire project and the lack of respect given to me—who lived through a real story and is still living it."

In May December, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton play a married couple, Gracie and Joe, whose relationship made tabloid headlines because it began when she was 36 and he was 13. Natalie Portman portrays an actress, Elizabeth, who is preparing to play Moore's character in a movie. She visits the pair to research her role.

E! News has reached out to reps for Melton, the film's director Todd Haynes and studio Netflix for comment on Fualaau's remarks and has not heard back.

Stars Playing Real People

Letourneau, a Washington State schoolteacher, was 34 and Fualaau was 12 and a student in her sixth grade class when they began their real-life romance. She was convicted for second-degree rape over their real-life relationship. She served more than seven years in prison after being convicted for second-degree rape and had to register as a sex offender upon her release.

She and Fualaau, who shared two daughters, married in 2005 and divorced in 2019. Letourneau died of cancer at age 58 the following year. Currently, the former couple's youngest daughter, Georgia Fualaau, is pregnant with her first child.

Investigation Discovery/YouTube

While May December took inspiration from the Letourneau scandal, screenwriter Samy Burch previously stressed that the film wasn't necessarily trying to tell their story.

"Certainly that's the seed of it, the big picture thing, but it was important to me that this wasn't the Mary Kay Letourneau story," she told the Hollywood Reporter in November. "It wasn't the same details—I certainly don't want anyone to assume that we're trying to say all these conversations happened behind closed doors, it's not. This was just a jumping off point and a way that something like this made sense to me emotionally."

Haynes added that "there were times when it became very, very helpful to get very specific about the research and we learned things from that relationship, even in the ways that it differed from the relationship between Gracie and Joe in our film."

In addition, Moore echoed that May December "is not the story of Mary Kay Letourneau."

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