Mary Kay Letourneau, a former schoolteacher who pleaded guilty in 1997 to two counts of felony second-degree rape of a child, has died from stage 4 colon cancer. She was 58.
After reporter Susannah Frame of KING 5 News broke the story Tuesday evening, Letourneau’s attorney David H. Gehrke told TMZ that Mary Kay had been in hospice care for the past month.
Breaking: Mary Kay Letourneau has died of cancer.— Susannah Frame (@SFrameK5) July 8, 2020
Gehrke also noted that Vili Fualaau, Letourneau’s former student, victim, and estranged husband, was by her side.
A source also told People that Letourneau had been losing weight and was feeling constantly tired in recent months.
“It was a very sad ending,” the People insider said.
Late Tuesday, the Letourneau and Fualaau families released a statement provided to writer Danielle Bacher regarding Mary Kay’s passing.
“Mary fought tirelessly against this terrible disease,” it read. “Mary, and all of us, found great strength in having our immediate and extended family members together to join her in this arduous struggle. We did our very best to care for Mary and one another as we kept her close and stayed close together.”
The families also confirmed Letourneau was diagnosed with metastatic cancer six months ago.
In the summer of 1996, Letourneau, who was then 34, engaged in a sexual relationship with Fualaau — who was a student in her second-grade and sixth-grade classes at Shorewood Elementary. He was either 12 or 13 at the time of the crime.
After pleading guilty in 1997 to child rape, Letourneau ended up serving seven years in prison.
In addition to her four kids with ex-husband Steve Letourneau, Letourneau shares two daughters with Fualaau: Georgia and Audrey.
Letourneau and Fualaau were married in 2005 and their separation was finalized in 2019.