Mary Kay Letourneau died at the age of 58.
The controversial public figure, who became world-famous for her relationship with her then 13-year-old student in the late 1990s, died of stage 4 cancer. Letoureau's lawyer confirmed the news that she had transferred to NBC.
Letourneau was 34 years old when she and Vili Fualaau, then a sixth grader, started a sexual relationship. In 1997, the former Washington school teacher gave birth to her first daughter, Audrey, while awaiting Fualaau's second-degree rape sentence.
At that time Letourneau was ordered to spend six months in prison and to stay away from Fualaau. However, when she was released in 1998, the authorities found that the couple had resumed their relationship. Letourneau's consent was revoked, and she resumed her seven and a half year sentence.
Letourneau gave birth to the couple's second daughter, Georgia, behind bars in 1998. After their release in 2004, Letourneau and Fualaau, then 21, married. In 2017, they applied for legal separation. Letourneau had four children from their first marriage, which ended at the time of their trial.
Letourneau's son from their previous marriage, Steven Letourneau Jr., made a statement on behalf of the Fualaau and Letourneau families to NBC News.
"We are deeply saddened by the very difficult news that our beloved Maria has died peacefully on July 6, 2020 after a six-month struggle since the diagnosis of stage IV cancer or metastatic cancer. Mary fought tirelessly against this terrible disease," it said read in the statement.
It partially concluded: "With this in mind, we ask for privacy and respect for our desire to focus on the path that is common to all of us who make up Mary's collective family. We ask that our limitations and needs be met Privacy is respected. " continued kindness and understanding. "
Before their 10th anniversary in 2015, the couple sat down with Barbara Walters for an extensive interview with their daughters.
When it came to discussing the origin of their relationship with Audrey and Georgia, Letourneau said: "There has never been a conversation: & # 39; Now it's time to talk to our children about it. They already seemed to know because they grew up with it. There was never a "wow, we better explain it."
In the years since, Letourneau and Fualaau have avoided public life.