Updated January 5th, 2024 at 23:07 IST

Mary Kay Letourneau’s ex-husband Vili Fualaau ‘offended’ by portrayal of their story in May December

Vili Fualaau said the filmmakers behind May December didn't reach out to him, even though the film uses the fictionalised version of his own story.

May December
May December | Image:IMDb

Vili Fualaau, whose marriage with Mary Kay Letourneau serves as the basis of Todd Haynes’ recent release, May December, is not happy with the movie. The man said the filmmakers behind the Netflix drama didn't reach out to him, even though the film uses the fictionalised version of his own story in the movie. 

Vili Fualaau’s grievances with May December

After seeing May December, Fualaau was extremely appalled by what he perceived to be yet another instance of Hollywood and the media taking advantage of his suffering and story. In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, the man revealed the main thing that baffles him is he was never consulted by the film's director, screenwriter, or actor Charles Melton, who portrays a character who is obviously modeled after him.

Vili Fualaau with his ex-wife Mary Kay Letourneau


Fualaau said, “I’m still alive and well. If they had reached out to me, we could have worked together on a masterpiece. Instead, they chose to do a ripoff of my original story. I’m offended by the entire project and the lack of respect given to me — who lived through a real story and is still living it.” 

Similarities and differences between May December and Fualaau’s story

The writer of May December, Samy Burch, has previously confessed that the Mary Kay Letourneau case served as inspiration for the movie. Letourneau was sentenced in 1997 on two counts of second-degree child rape after she became pregnant with Fualaau's child, who was 12 years old then. 

Julianne Moore and Charles Melton in May December 


2005 saw the couple's marriage, shortly after Letourneau's release from a seven-year prison sentence. Together, they raised two children. Despite getting separated in 2017, Letourneau and his partner remained wed until his passing in 2020 at the age of 58.

May December modifies a number of the case's details, such as names, locations, and occupations. The movie centres on television actress Elizabeth Berry (played by Natalie Portman), who is preparing to play Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) in a biopic. In contrast to Letourneau, Gracie is a former pet shop owner who, after serving her sentence in prison, now lives in relative seclusion with her much younger husband, Joe Yoo (Melton), and their children.


Published January 5th, 2024 at 23:07 IST

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