Netflix’s ‘May December’ is based on a real story that is heavily fictionalized to present the audience with a tale of complex characters, all of whom walk the morally gray line. Natalie Portman’s Elizabeth Berry briefly situates herself in the life of Gracie, who was embroiled in a scandal about two decades prior when she became the mother of her 12-year-old student. To understand Gracie better, Elizabeth talks to the people who were at the heart of the scandal, especially Gracie’s ex-husband, Tom. Naturally, this makes viewers wonder about his real-life counterpart.
Where is Steve Letourneau Today?
Having been at the center of a scandal that took the country by storm in the 90s, Steve Letourneau now lives a quiet life in his hometown in Anchorage, Alaska. He divorced Mary Kay Letourneau in 1999 after she was convicted and sent to prison for two counts of felony second-degree rape of a child. He got custody of their four children— Steven Jr., Claire, Nicholas, and Jacqueline. He was briefly married to Kelly Whalen and was last known to have been in a long-term relationship with someone else.
Steve was born to Dick and Sharon Letourneau in Anchorage and met Mary Kay when they were both at Arizona State University. Reportedly, Mary Kay wasn’t really in love with Steve but had to marry him when she discovered she was pregnant with their first child. According to her childhood best friend, Michelle Lobdell, Mary Kay and Steve had little in common, and she was coaxed by her mother into marrying the father of her child. “He checked all the boxes, but when I met him, there was nothing there. I realize now that it was her mother’s pressure. She wanted her mother’s approval, and she never got it. She never had anyone she could rely on in her life to love and protect her and look after her self-interest,” Lobdell said.
Once married, Mary Kay and Steve moved back to his hometown, where he started working at Alaska Airlines. They later moved to Seattle, but the troubles that had been in their marriage since the beginning remained still. Reportedly, they had financial problems, and both parties were involved in extramarital affairs, which made things even more complicated. They ended up having three more children, but their marriage came to a breaking point after Mary Kay’s affair with her seventh-grader student came to light.
Reportedly, it was Steve who found out about the affair after discovering letters his wife had written to her young student. In hindsight, he realized that the signs were always there; he just didn’t see them. According to a report, Steve revealed that Mary Kay often brought Vili Fualaau home under the guise of helping him because he was “gifted.” She also encouraged their oldest son, who was closer to Vili, though younger in age, to become friends with him. He revealed that he would return home after work and find Mary Kay asleep on the couch with Vili.
“I was in denial,” he said, adding that he was blown away after he read the letters. He confronted his wife, who confessed and is said to have driven to Vili’s to confront him as well and tell him to stay away from his wife. He said it was “easier said than done” to “turn in the mother of your children to police.” Eventually, a family member reached out to the authorities, and Mary Kay was arrested. During her trial, Mary Kay’s lawyer, David Gehrke, claimed that his client had been “emotionally and physically abused” by her husband. “In two of the three cases, she went to the hospital for treatment, and police were called,” he said. Despite the allegations, no charges were filed, and no legal action was ever taken against Steve Letourneau.
“It’s craziness. Just absolute craziness. She’s still living in fantasyland,” he said of Mary Kay when she claimed the realness of her connection with her young lover, with whom she got pregnant twice while he was still a teenager. Over the years, Steve distanced himself from Mary Kay, mainly to protect his children from the media frenzy that surrounded the case over the years. It is reported that he didn’t stay in touch with his ex-wife, but the children did. He has rarely, if ever, come out to give interviews about the whole thing. On the news of Mary Kay and Vili’s divorce in 2019, he simply commented, “I’ve moved on, and I have nothing to say.” Considering the stir that his ex-wife’s affair caused and the impact it had on him and his children’s lives, it makes sense that he’d want to stay away from the limelight now.
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