Vili Fualaau was at the heart of one of the most sensational cases of the 1990s. His ex-teacher, Mary Kay Letourneau, was accused of raping the then-12-year-old Vili. The assault resulted in a pregnancy. After Mary served her prison sentence for child rape, she married Vili and went on to enjoy a long marriage with him.

Vili Fualaau was born to Samoan immigrants Soona Vili and Luavia Fualaau

Vili Fualaau was born into a Samoan family in the United States. He is Samoan-American. 

Describing Vili as mature beyond his years, Soona told The Seattle Times in 1997 that he was in love with Mary. Nevertheless, she insisted that she didn’t condone Mary’s actions. In 2002, she confronted Mary in court during a civil suit, saying she couldn’t hate the mother of her grandchildren, regardless of the depths of her despair. Soona said:

“I can’t say I hate Mary. Just a couple of weeks ago my granddaughter turned around to me and asked, ‘Do you love my Mary mommy, Grandma?’ And I’m supposed to tell her ‘Yeah, I hate your mother?’ I can’t. I can’t. … And looking at my granddaughters, I can’t consciously say I hate this woman.”