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Letourneau's former 6th grade lover speaks

In this "Today" exclusive, Vili Fualaau talks to Matt Lauer about his relationship with the woman who was convicted of raping him.
/ Source: TODAY

Former school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau is a free woman now after serving seven years for child rape. Now, her victim and former lover, Vili Fualaau, breaks his silence. In an exclusive interview, Letourneau's former 6th grade student and father of two of her children, talked to “Today” host Matt Lauer about what he thinks about their relationship and her release from prison.

Vili Fualaau:  “I've been waiting for a long time for this to happen – for her to come out.  And now that I – now that she is out now, you know, I'm really excited to see her.”

Matt Lauer: “There's a no contact order in effect. A lawyer on your behalf took actions to initiate, which you had to do, to remove that no contact order. So is that for the ease of Mary visiting the kids so that it won't be awkward? You won't have to leave the house when she comes over or is that because you want to now say, ‘Let's see if we can make it?’”

Fualaau: “That's it. I want to see … who she is and if she's still the same person that I fell in love with.  And I want to see if she feels the same way for me.”

Lauer: “Do you want your children to be there for the first meeting? Is that maybe a little buffer zone?”

Fualaau: “Well, I kind of want to … do it alone. And then, later we'll bring the kids in the picture.”

Will there be a relationship?
Lauer: “How long do you think it'll take, once you do get to see her, how long do you think it'll take for you to decide whether this has a chance to work or not?”

Fualaau: “I'm hoping by the end of this month.”

Lauer: “So in other words if you see her at the end of this month, you're going to give it two weeks? You're going to give it … two months? I mean do you think you'll know kind of quickly if you two have grown apart and there's no chance for getting back together?”

Fualaau: “I mean we left on awkward terms. So…”

Lauer: “That's a…”

Fualaau: “I mean I can still remember that … night. You know that we were spotted at in front of her friend's house and taken and separated. I can still remember that night like [the] back of my hand.”

Lauer: “And that was the last time you saw her?”

Fualaau: “Yeah. In fact I can remember word for word and – what we did and what we were doing.”

Lauer: “What were the last words you said to her?”

Fualaau: “What was the last word that I said to her? ‘I love you.’”

Lauer: “And she said?”

Fualaau: “And she said ‘shut up,’ I'm not leaving.”

What Mary Kay saw in Vili
Lauer: “When this started you were 12, she was 32. What your memories of Mary Kay Letourneau back when you were 12 or 13-years-old?  What was she like?”

Fualaau: “What was she like? She was beautiful. I thought she was really gorgeous. I mean that was all I thought about her before anything happened.  And it things just turned out [that] we fell in love.”

Lauer: “You know, Vili, that some people say, ‘He was 12-years-old, she was 32, how could they fall in love? What did they have in common?’  How do you answer that?’”

Fualaau: “I ask myself that at the same time – the same thing all the time.  You know, I was 12, she was 32.  When I look back at the situation, I'm just like, what did she see in me? She's older than I am. She's a teacher and she's married – has a good life.”

Lauer: “Four kids.”

Fualaau: “And she has four kids of her own. And I’m 12. I barely even know what my future is.”

Lauer: “Or who I am?”

Fualaau: “Or, yeah, or who I am. And I ask myself that all the time. And I always just think, I’m not really that good looking – what's the deal here?  Why does she love me or why does she say she's in love with me? And things like that.”

Lauer: “She said basically you were old beyond your years, wise beyond your years – very strong, very smart and that there was an instant attraction.  Is that the way you remember? That kind of instant attraction?”

Fualaau: “I wouldn't say it was like that.”

Lauer: “What did you two talk about?  I mean when you were alone together, which was hard.”

Fualaau: “Right.”

Lauer: “It was hard for you two to be alone together. She was your teacher.”

Fualaau: “She was my teacher.”

Lauer: “What kinds of things did you talk about?”

Fualaau: “Basically we talked about anything and everything. I'm not the only person that's ever felt the feeling I felt. I mean there are a lot of people that's been in love before [and] knows what it feels like. And the people that are still in love, you know, for a long time, [like] the people that are married their whole life. And love is very strong in their marriage.  It's that feeling where [you] just know. It's not like you have to work at it.”

Lauer: “There was just the chemistry?”

Fualaau: “It's just there and it belongs to you.”

Lauer: “She went to jail for the relationship [and] she got out. And then, of course, you two got back together again. What was the hardest part for you when she went off to prison?”

Fualaau: “Hardest part was being separated without choice.”

Lauer: “I think you’ve described it some ways as a conspiracy against love?”

Fualaau: “Yeah.”

Lauer: “Was it ever?”

Fualaau: “I believe sometimes, maybe it was like a punishment from God – the whole adultery thing. And also a test to see, you know, if we still love each other after seven years.”

Adjusting to being a father
Lauer: “Some people have told me, Vili, that over the last seven years, if it hadn't been for your kids, things might have turned out very differently for you? That you went through some very difficult times. And that your daughters were kind of what got you through it. What have they meant to you over these past seven years?”

Fualaau: “At first it was really hard for me to believe I was a father – I still wanted to live out my childhood, which I've tried. But I still couldn't because it just couldn't happen.”

Lauer: “You were 14 when Audrey was born, right?”

Fualaau: “Right.”

Lauer: “And then 15 and a half, 16 when Alexis was born?”

Fualaau: “Yes.”

Lauer: “That's a tough adjustment. I mean how did you deal with it?”

Fualaau: “At home I write little poems about my life and how I lived it out, what gave me that strive just to keep pushing forward and every time I fall how to pick myself up.  And what I did to do those kind of things.”

Lauer: “Tell me about a couple of times when you fell. I mean did you have tough times when you thought, "I'm not going to make it through this."

Fualaau: “Yes. I've been there more than I can count. It's just been crazy. I mean just seven years of being alone.”

Dating other girls
Lauer: “What do you say to people, Vili, who think it's hard to believe this is a love story? You know that there's something built into some people that say it can't work.  You know I think there are probably some people who want to grab you by the coat and shake you and say, ‘Vili, it can't work, you were 12-years-old.’”

Fualaau: “I've heard that so many times. There [are] people like telling me all, ‘Vili, you're very young. You're a handsome guy. There are a lot of other girls out there.  Don't dwell in this relationship because it's making you sad.  I hate to see you sad like this. "So, try other relationships. And try to make yourself happy.’ And I have and other relationships haven't made me happy.”

Lauer: “Has it affected the way you view other women?”

Fualaau: “Yes, it has.”

Lauer: “In what way?”

Fualaau: “Every girl or woman that I've gone out with, I've always compared Mary to them. Can they stand up to who Mary was?”

Lauer: “And if they're teenagers, that's like comparing a girl to a woman which has got to be a little difficult for you.  Although some people would say that's what you should be after. You should go after a girl.”

Fualaau: “Right. Well, I wanted to be in love on many different levels. You know I wanted to bond with them on many different levels. And I couldn't do that with any other girl, because I constantly thought about Mary or they would constantly remind me about Mary. They would bring up the subject, ‘So how did it all start?’” 

Lauer: “You'd be on like the second date and they'd say, "Tell me about Mary Kay?"

Fualaau: “Yeah. It [would] be like that. And sometimes it would like irritate me because I wanted to start something new. I want to see if it could work. But I guess, you know, it's just inevitable not to work.”

Lauer: “You have no doubt, even as a 12 and 13-year-old, you had no doubt that this was the relationship that for you, was forever.”

Fualaau: “I didn't think it would. I never really thought I could ever fall in love that young. I didn't know what the feeling was. But I could explain the feeling from [an] adrenaline rush, to the feeling that flow[s] through my body, and the words that come out of my mouth, sometimes they sound kind of corny. But [at] same time, I didn't really care, because it was from my heart, and it's what was true. Or, what is still true.”

Lauer: “You are 21-years-old now. You have two daughters, seven and five. And you've been through a lot. Was it worth it?”

Fualaau: “Was it worth it? I don't know yet. There's still more to come. We have to hear her side, and whether she still loves me. So, there's still a lot more to come.”