Months after the legal separation between Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau, the former teacher imprisoned for raping her former student finds herself unsure of her next step.
“She’s trying to pick up the pieces and move on,” a source close to Letourneau tells PEOPLE, “but she’s feeling kind of lost. She’s not sure what to do next.”
The controversial couple headed for a split in 2017, after Fualaau filed for legal separation. Despite several reconciliation attempts since then, the case moved to private arbitration in February 2019. The separation became final late last year, when the couple managed to untangle some of their assets and debts.
“Basically, what’s hers is hers, and what’s his is his,” the source told PEOPLE after the separation was final. “She has her assets and debts; he has his assets and debts. And going forward, any debt that each of them accrue is theirs alone. Everything is split up.”
The couple’s relationship began when Fualaau was just 12 years old and Letourneau was his sixth-grade teacher. They soon began to have sex. Ultimately, she was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for child rape in connection with their relationship. She twice became pregnant with Fualaau’s children before he was 15, despite court orders aimed at keeping them apart.
By the time she was released from prison, Fualaau was an adult — and he petitioned the court to allow them to see each other. The restraining order was dropped, but Letourneau remains a registered sex offender in Washington state.
The couple married in 2005, despite the criminal history of their relationship.
But it ultimately didn’t last. Letourneau, 58, and Fualaau, 36, often slept in separate rooms before the split. “The intimacy was gone,” the source previously told PEOPLE. “That’s not to say they didn’t love each other, but it wasn’t what it used to be.”
The source, who has known Letourneau for years, says the marriage began to deteriorate several years ago but that the couple continued to work towards reconciliation.
“For years, there was hope it would work,” says the source. “There was hope up until the time where it was clear that the hope had faded away.”
“I’m not surprised that they got married,” Letourneau’s lawyer and friend David Gehrke told PEOPLE in 2017, after the couple first announced their plans to split before they later attempted to reconcile. “And I’m not surprised, in this day and age, that they are separating.”
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Even after the split, Letourneau and Fualaau still lived together. They were occasionally spotted out in the Seattle area. They both remain active in the lives of their two daughters, Georgia and Audrey.
But now, the couple is figuring out life after separation. They no longer live together — their landlord filed paperwork to evict them from the home where they had been living.
“She has her place and he has his,” the source says. “It’s completely separate, and now she’s facing life as a single woman pushing 60 years old. It’s not what she wanted, but it’s her reality.”
And is there a chance for reconciliation? “I don’t think so,” says the insider. “This time, it’s really over.”
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