Mary Kay Letourneau: Life Moves On

Mary Kay Letourneau: Life Moves onMary Kay Letourneau, a blast from the past headline from over a decade ago, is in the news again.  Her story comes with a bizarre twist of fate and has proven the skeptics wrong.  Her name is recognizable for a multitude of bad reasons and her latest brush with the law hardly merits any attention.  Still, Letourneau has done wrong and the world should know about it.  It appears as if reporters are destined to relay the latest facts in the life of a criminal, celebrity or sports figure who has fallen from grace, despite restitution they have paid.  As life moves on, stories have a way of rearing their ugly heads out of peaceful solitude and speaking to us once again.

Letourneau is known for her major misjudgment in life.  Her heart, her background and her motives have not been fully examined as many rush deem her unworthy of forgiveness and understanding.  What she did was unheard of, although many others have followed similar paths over the years.  She did not think clearly when she became attracted to a student who was over twenty years younger.  Her reasons did not matter at the time and seem to not matter today, even as her life has moved on.

Letourneau may not even be able to answer the why or how could you questions, she just followed her heart into a bizarre situation, encountering her own consequences and changing the lives of many others.  Amazingly, her victim, Vili Fualaau, has been the one person that has stood by her.  Letourneau was charged with the child rape of the young Samoan, only 12 years old at the time.  She was a 34 year old married mother of four and was his schoolteacher.  These events all took place in the late 90’s and have been revisited as of late.

The pair began a quiet love affair that cost Letourneau her marriage, her job and her dignity.  She has paid dearly for loving someone in a most unconventional way.  Through multiple arrests, seven years of prison, court appearances and giving birth to two daughters by Fualaau, Letourneau’s case became national news spawning many book deals and TV movies.

She served her time, paid her dues to society and missed out raising her six children.  She did it to herself through her selfish actions at the time and has deserved the outcome of her motives.  Letourneau was released from jail in 2004.  Fualaau was waiting for her.  He loved her and was raising the two daughters they had produced through their strange union of love.  For a young man of 12 to fall in love is rare, but it seemed to be true, as the couple have been married for ten years.

The now grandmother and almost 52 year old, still looks fit from her youth as she has been busy tending to her daughters and husband for the last decade.  Fualaau makes his living as a DJ and the family seems to be well adjusted, despite the unconventional way it was formed.  The story of this bizarre love hits the news stands once again for Letourneau’s forgetfulness and lack of follow-up concerning traffic violations.

Letourneau failed to renew her license tags in the state of Washington, and was pulled over by police.  She further violated the law by not paying traffic tickets and skipping out of a court appearance.  She was arrested recently on those charges and posted $5,000 to stay out of jail.  Her name is back in the news as a hot topic, as if she raped a child, again.  Whether or not she threw herself at Fualaau back when he was 12, he seemed willing to accept, willing to forgive, and willing to wait for the one he loved.

As life moves on, some things just need to be laid to rest.  For reasons most cannot understand or accept, the love between Letourneau and Fualaau happened and has lasted nearly eighteen years.  They have a life together, a life most cannot understand and a life many would not choose.

The background history of family, religion and other dynamics always plays a part in the lives we form.  No one person does things the same way.  It is easy to pass judgment when we do not understand.  Hopefully, all things will quiet down for this couple, as the rest of us settle back into our own routines, marriages and the things we do as life moves on and this story passes on to the next one.

Editorial by: Roanne H. FitzGibbon

Kiro TV  

Chicago Tribune