Vili Fualaau's family has issued an official statement, following the death of his estranged wife Mary Kay Letourneau. In the statement, which was in cooperation with the Letourneau family, loved ones stated they are "deeply saddened" by her death, and that she passed away "peacefully" after battling stage 4 cancer for six months.
"Mary fought tirelessly against this terrible disease," the families' statement added. "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 statement went on to read, "We are endlessly grateful for the care and kindness received from the amazing professionals involved in Mary's care. "Likewise, the kindness and compassion of friends and others who learned of her condition along the way proved an uplifting gift to us all."
Here is an EXCLUSIVE statement given to me by the Letourneau and Fualaau families about the passing of Mary Kay Letourneau. pic.twitter.com/YFliUbejpv— Danielle Bacher (@DBacherwrites) July 8, 2020
The families added: "It is in that spirit that we ask for privacy and respect for our desire to focus on the road ahead for all of us who make up Mary's collective family. We ask that our boundaries and need for privacy be honored with continued kindness and understanding." The statement concluded through the families explaining how they plan to "celebrate and honor the wishes of our wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, beloved family member and loyal friend and concentrate on caring for one another." Letourneau was 58 years old at the time of her death.
Letourneau became a controversial figure in the 1990s, after engaging in an illegal relationship with Fualaau, who was underage at the time. She was his school teacher and started a sexual relationship with him. She was eventually arrested, convicted, and sentenced to seven years in prison for child rape. Letourneau and Fualaau share two children and married in 2005. Notably, Fualaau filed for legal separation in 2017, but the pair continued to be seen together even after. The separation became official in 2019
According to PEOPLE, a source close Letourneau told the outlet that her health began to significantly decline in recent months. She reportedly lost a lot of weight and was frequently exhausted. The source stated, "It was a very sad ending."