In their first network primetime television interview since their May 2005 wedding, Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau sit down with “Dateline’s” Josh Mankiewicz to discuss their story, which began as an infamous affair between a teacher and her student and made headlines across the country.
In the wide-ranging interview, Letourneau and Fualaau tell Mankiewicz that they plan to have another baby and that she wants to return to teaching. Letourneau shares intimate details about the secret messages she sent to him when she was in prison, violating a no-contact order. The messages were included in the packaging of her frozen breast milk that she sent to their daughter who was in custody of Vili’s mother. The couple also speak openly with “Dateline” about their life at home and raising their children — her four children from her previous marriage and their two together — and they share never-before-seen photos and video.
The interview will air Friday, June 2, 8 p.m. on NBC. Below are excerpts from the interview. Check back on the Web site for more preview clips from the interview.
On the possibility of having another child
Josh Mankiewicz: You guys gonna have another baby?
Vili Fualaau: Trying to.
Mary Kay Letourneau: Everybody hopes. Yeah.
Her hopes to return to teaching
Mary Kay Letourneau: I’m thinking about teaching English as a second language...or math. Turns out I have a serious passion for mathematics.
Mankiewicz: Can you become a teacher again?
Letourneau: Well, I am a teacher, I just don’t have my Washington state license anymore. I still have a degree in teaching. And I was teaching at the prison...I can’t teach at public school in Washington because I’ve lost that, just that certificate...If I choose to, I can, I’m interested in teaching algebra at the community college.
Mankiewicz: You can’t teach at a public grade school.
Letourneau: I could at a private school, though.
Vili’s pursuit of Mary when he was in her sixth grade class
Vili Fualaau: I wasn’t gonna stop...I wanted her. So I wasn’t gonna stop.
Mankiewicz: ...And you were attracted to him?
Letourneau: ...we really got along well. And I was trying to leave it at a level of like, “Gee I really think you’re great.” You know—and—I liked all of my students. But they didn’t come at me like but there was something different though...we had a chemistry...and the way our heads worked.
Mankiewicz: Back when this first broke in the headlines I think lots of people understand how a 13-year-old would get a crush on his teacher. I think what people didn’t understand—and the question everybody was asking then, and that I’m gonna now ask you is: How does a 34 year old woman fall for a 13 year old boy?
Letourneau: Well he’s quite the man, and was back then actually.
Her secret messages, violating her no contact order
Letourneau: I had on every one of them I had a code. And we had a pretty sophisticated number code from years before... 104 was “I love you.” And if I wasn’t feeling good, or if something was going wrong there was another one...And then I would write names of songs down...or it was a song that we had shared.
Mankiewicz: What was it like to get the shipments of Mary’s breast milk out of the prison and realize in there was a little secret message for you?
Fualaau: I think every time I seen one, every time I opened the freezer and I seen all these bags of her breast milk with the numbers on it, it just made me feel really, really good, really happy about it.
On raising their children
Letourneau: I mean, I just love to sit back and watch him with our girls. Even how he interacts with my older children...and how he takes care of our girls, but part of why we are together, is the way we both see just people in general. And, so that extends to my children. He’s an amazing father.
What she tells her daughters about her prison term
Letourneau: I remind them about that every time they break a rule. And have to have a time out. So, “Remember, you know, mommy broke a rule. Mommy had to do a time out. You only have to do three minutes. But you be careful. You have to follow rules.”
The full interview airs Dateline Friday, 8 p.m.