Truth about teacher's affair that shocked the world
IN 1997, primary school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau was convicted of second-degree child rape after it was revealed she was having a relationship with her sixth-grade student.
It was the case that shocked the world and now Letourneau tells her side of the story in a new documentary, which recounts her tumultuous past in her most in-depth confessional to date.
In Mary Kay Letourneau: Autobiography, the now 56-year old revisits her controversial past and reveals key, never-before-heard details about her affair with 13-year old student Vili Fualaau, and the media firestorm that followed.
Why? Because in her words, it's important to set "the record straight".
The first widely-reported fact she wants to shoot to smithereens in the documentary is that Fualaau was indeed her student when they began their affair.
According to Letourneau, this wasn't the case.
"There wasn't anything going on at all when he was a student of mine," she says matter-of-factly.
Letourneau says their relationship began while they were taking classes at the same community college.
One day after class they went out to eat, Fualaau asked her if he could kiss her, she accepted and that was that.
"Am I sorry he's the father of my children and the man of my life?"
Letourneau says in the special, referring to the now 34-year-old Fualaau.
"No, I'm not."
According to the documentary's executive producer Brad Abramson, it took some convincing to get Letourneau to take part in the special, but, in the end, she was happy that she did.
"I think she wanted to tell her side of the story for the first time," says Abramson.
"This platform, where she's looking right at the camera in an intimate and personal way, allows her to frame her story … which she was not allowed to do for many years."
The end result is both breathtaking and infuriating in equal parts.
"I think reliving (her) time in prison was brutal," he adds.
"It brought back a lot of raw emotions. I was quite surprised to see that after 20 years."
Letourneau is no stranger to speaking her mind.
In 2015, on their 10-year wedding anniversary, Barbara Walters did a sit-down interview with Letourneau and asked her if she took Fualaau's childhood from him.
"The only benefit, if there is any benefit that I was away (in prison), is that he had years to be without me and not in a relationship," Letourneau responded.
"I think that even though we did start when he was a young teenager, I was gone for a while, so he had plenty of time to do his thing."
Today the couple are still married and live together in Washington State.
With the felony child-rape charge, Letourneau will be on the registered sex offender list for the rest of her life.
Mary Kay Letourneau: Autobiography airs Saturday at 9.30pm on Foxtel's Crime + Investigation.