Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau who outraged America with their love story headed for separation
Letourneau was jailed multiple times for her relationship with Fualaau, but the pair would ultimately persevere and marry one another.
After rumors last year that Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau were separating proved to be false, it seemed as though the couple would weather through the problems in their relationship — which began when the former was the latter's sixth-grade teacher.
However, it looks like the couple, who share two daughters, was no longer able to paper over the cracks, with People reporting that Letourneau and Fualaau are moving forward with their separation after their reconciliation attempt failed.
The pair have filed a motion at the King County Superior Court which states that they will be moving forward with private arbitration to finalize their split, ending what has effectively been more than a two-decade association, that brought with it public outrage and jail sentences for Letourneau.
The relationship caught the attention of the masses ever since it first went public in March 1997. Letourneau was married and had four children when she first met Fualaau as his teacher in the 2nd grade at Shorewood Elementary School in Burien, Washington.
Their relationship would be platonic in the beginning, but in the summer of 1996, when Letourneau was 34 and Fualaau was a 12-year-old the sixth grade, it became sexual.
She was arrested in March 1997 after a relative of her then-husband contacted the authorities. At the time of her arrest, she was pregnant with Fualaau's child and went on to give birth to their daughter in May 1997 as she awaited sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of felony second-degree rape of a child.
As a part of a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to six months in jail with three months suspended, and also to her not having to register as a sex offender on the condition that she does not have contact with Fualaau for life.
One would imagine that would be the end of their story, but shortly after Letourneau's release from jail, police caught her and Fualaau having sex in a car.
She was impregnated for a second time and a judge subsequently sentenced her to seven-and-a-half years in prison for violating the terms of her probation. In October 1998, while serving her second stint in jail, she gave birth to her second daughter with Fualaau.
Letourneau later detailed their taboo relationship and how it began during 20/20 special 'American Scandal.'
"The incident was a late night that it didn't stop with a kiss. And I thought that it would and it didn't," she revealed. "I loved him very much, and I kind of thought, 'Why can't it ever just be a kiss?'"
Despite the constant media scrutiny and the disapproving glances of millions, Letourneau and Fualaau went on to marry one another after her release from prison in 2004 after successfully reversing the teacher's no-contact order.
The couple has lived in relative silence since then, only resurfacing now and then for interviews.
During one such interview with A&E special 'Autobiography,' Letourneau offered her thoughts on why the media was obsessed with them.
"It's shock value," she insisted. "That's what it was all about. Shock. I call it media carnage. Roadkill. 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."
"The age difference, all of that stuff wasn't going through my mind," Fualaau similarly said. "A lot of things that should have gone through my mind at the time weren't going through my mind."
They were back in the spotlight proper when on May 9, 2017, after almost 12 years of marriage, Fualaau filed for separation.
However, he later withdrew the separation, claiming it was all a "publicity stunt" he set in motion to promote his marijuana business. They continued to live together and were even spotted together a few times in the Seattle area.
While that particular occasion proved to be a false alarm, numerous reports indicate this time around, the couple will be going through with their separation.
"They really gave it the old college try," a source told People. "They have a long history with two kids, but it really seems to have run its course. They worked really hard to fix things, but it still fell apart. The reconciliation just didn’t work."
The source added that Letourneau and Fualaau were heading for divorce. "They still love each other very much," they said. "They’re family and always will be. It just isn’t working, and they’re going to have to call it."