Mary Kay Letourneau, a one-time teacher who became a tabloid fixture in the late 1990s after she raped a 13-year-old student and later married him after serving a prison sentence, died on Monday near Seattle. She was 58.
Her lawyer, David Gehrke, said she died of cancer. He said she had died at home surrounded by her children and Vili Fualaau, the former student she later married.
Ms. Letourneau and Mr. Fualaau had two children together before he turned 15. He defended the relationship as consensual, and the couple married in 2005 after she had served a seven-year prison term.
The couple split in 2019.
Ms. Letourneau was 34 when she began a sexual relationship with Mr. Fualaau in 1996, when he was 12 or 13. They had their first child in 1997 as she awaited sentencing on charges of second-degree child rape. After serving three months of a reduced sentence in prison, she defied court orders to stay away from Mr. Fualaau and gave birth to their second child in 1998 while beginning her second prison sentence.
Anne Bremner, a lawyer who has been friends with Ms. Letourneau for nearly 20 years, said Ms. Letourneau hoped in her death that people would be able to see her as someone who had served her time and gone on to raise two daughters with Mr. Fualaau and have a positive impact on the people around her.
“She was always a really good person,” Ms. Bremner said. “She was always a really good friend.”
Ms. Letourneau is survived by six children, four by a previous marriage.
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