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Vili Fualaau who married, had 2 kids with teacher Mary Letourneau after rape recalls final moments with ex-wife

'I turned off her breathing machine just to hear if she was breathing just really soft. At that moment, I had to tell the kids that they need to call rest of siblings to come and say their goodbyes'
Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau (Getty Images)
Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau (Getty Images)

Vili Fualaau, who was raped by his school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, and later married her and even fathered two children with her after she was arrested, recently opened up about her final moments as she lost her secret cancer battle.

We previously reported that Mary Kay Letourneau, 58, lost her life to stage 4 cancer, with her controversial past once again coming to the fore in the wake of her death. Letourneau had been a married mother-of-four and a well-respected sixth-grade teacher at the Shorewood Elementary School in the Seattle suburb of Burien when she met a 12-year-old schoolboy, Vili Fualaau. While their relationship started as platonic, it turned sexual in March 1997 and she was arrested after her then-husband, Steve Letourneau, contacted the authorities. But over the next few years, she repeatedly shirked court orders to keep away from Fualaau and twice became pregnant with his children before he was 15.

The scandal made headlines in the US in the late 1990s, triggering a string of media coverage, including a book written on it and a direct to a TV movie. The couple eventually ended up finalized their separation in August last year, but Fualaau, 37, said he provided Mary Kay with 24/7 care and was at her bedside in the final stages of her life. "We were just talking about when they were kids, and we were laughing," he said, speaking on the Dr Oz Show. "I turned over, and I didn't see her chest moving. I thought it was, maybe, one of those pauses she has, and then she'll come back. She'll take a deep breath and she's going to come back. I would count in between those pauses, and it was just the longest count that I had. I turned off her breathing machine just to hear if she was breathing just really soft. At that moment, I had to tell the kids that they need to call the rest of the siblings to come and say their goodbyes. This is it."

Vili Fualaau appears in court with his lawyer N Scott Stewart in SeaTac, Washington April 3, 2006, for a hearing to determine if he is to stand trial on a drunken-driving charge (Ron Wurzer/Getty Images)

He talked about his ex-wife's final days battling the disease and the experience of becoming a dad at just 13 and whether he ever felt he was a victim. However, the tough question came when Dr Oz asked Fualaau whether he would choose the same controversial path Letourneau if given a chance. "Let me flip it around. You're in your 30s now. Mary was in her 30s when she met you. If you were attracted to a minor, what would you do?" the host asked. Instead of avoiding the question, Fualaau chose a diplomatic way of answering. "Well, I'd probably go and seek some help. I couldn't look at a 13-year-old and be attracted to that, because it's just not in my brain," he said. "It's nothing that I'm attracted to. I mean, we all have our preferences, and that's just not something that I would go towards."

Letourneau had remained relatively under the radar after marriage but did break her silence about their relationship during an interview with an A&E special, 'Autobiography', where she insisted she saw nothing wrong in what she had done and questioned the media's obsession with them. "It's shock value," she had said. "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. A lot of things that should have gone through my mind at the time weren't going through my mind." With her death, some wounds appear to have healed. In a joint statement, the Fualaaus and the Letourneaus said they are "deeply saddened" by her loss.