Vili Fualaau Finally Opened Up About 'May December'

vili fualaau appears in court on dui charge
What Happened to Vili Fualaau?Ron Wurzer - Getty Images
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Todd Haynes’s latest film, May December, was one of 2023's most divisive films, drawing attention from viewers across the country. The Netflix movie, starring Julianne Moore and Charles Melton, follows a couple with a troubling age gap—which mirrors the real-life relationship between Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau.

In 1997, Letourneau was caught having an inappropriate affair with Fualaau. She was 34 years old at the time, and he was her 12-year-old student. Eventually, she plead guilty to two counts of rape and served time in prison, but upon her release, Letourneau and Fualaau reunited. Though May December has strong parallels to their story, Fualaau, whom Melton’s character was based on, finally opened up about the film's interpretation of their life. And he's not impressed. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fualaau expressed his frustration with the project. “I’m still alive and well,” he said. “If they had reached out to me, we could have worked together on a masterpiece. Instead, they chose to do a rip-off of my original story.”

In the film, Joe, who is inspired by Fualaau, is last seen at his son’s high school graduation. As his child crosses the stage, Joe begins to cry. It’s an ambiguous ending, but Melton said in an interview with Netflix's Tudum, “I think he’ll be OK.” In real life, Fualaau’s story is even more complicated, as are his thoughts on the project.

What does Vili Fualaau Think About May December?

While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Fualaau made it clear that he does not approve of May December. Despite the film's portrayal of his life, Fualaau said he was never contacted for approval or suggestions. “I love movies—good movies," he said. "And I admire ones that capture the essence and complications of real-life events. You know, movies that allow you to see or realize something new every time you watch them. Those kinds of writers and directors—someone who can do that—would be perfect to work with, because my story is not nearly as simple as this movie [portrays]."

Meanwhile, the team behind May December is straying away from the notion that the film directly mirrors Fualaau and Letourneau’s lives. “This is not the story of Mary Kay Letourneau,” screenwriter Samy Burch said at the Los Angeles premiere. She insists their case was just a “jumping-off point,” but the film proves otherwise. There are plenty of similarities, from Fualaau being mixed-race, to the couple's age gap, and even some of the dialogue. One of the most striking lines is pulled directly from an interview where Letourneau insists Fualaau was the “boss” in their affair.

“I’m offended by the entire project and the lack of respect given to me, Fualaau told The Hollywood Reporter, as someone who “lived through a real story and is still living through it.”

may december, l to r julianne moore as gracie atherton yoo with charles melton as joe cr courtesy of netflix
Julianne Moore and Charles Melton, whose characters inspired Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau. Netflix

What Happened to Vili Fualaau?

In 2020, a year after Letourneau died, Fualaau appeared on The Dr. Oz Show. During the episode, Dr. Oz noted that Fualaau was around the same age as his ex-wife when they met. Then he asked Fualaau what he would do if he were interested in a minor. “I’d probably go and seek some help,” Fualaau said. “I couldn’t look at a 13-year-old and be attracted to that because it’s just not in my brain.”

In the years since Letourneau's death, Fualaau has lived a quiet life. His exact whereabouts are unknown, though he’s presumably still living in Seattle. In 2022, PEOPLE confirmed that Fualaau had a third child, Sophia, with another woman. The mother’s identity has been kept private, but Fualaau’s older children seem to be excited about their new sibling. In 2022, Georgia shared a picture of the new baby on Instagram. Alongside the photo, she wrote, “Hi Sophia, I’m your big sister! You’re so beautiful, I can’t wait to watch you grow. I’ll be right here by your side no matter what! I love you.”

What Happened to Georgia and Audrey?

In 2017, a source close to the family told PEOPLE that Georgia and Audrey initially struggled with their parent's divorce. “They’re trying not to choose sides,” the source explained. “They had two great parents who loved and supported them. So now they’re returning the love and support to both their dad and mom.” The source continued to say both daughters were “very good girls” and “wise beyond their years.”

In 2018, Georgia and Audrey appeared on the Australian Sunday Night show and spoke about their parent’s widely-criticized relationship and the abuse that Fualaau endured. “I think I understand it,” Audrey said. “It was surprising to people. It’s not really been brought to our attention, just because we grew up with it, so we’re adapted to it.” During the interview, Audrey also revealed that her father was the more lenient parent. “He definitely feels like a young dad now that I’m at that adult age where I can go to a bar,” she said. “He’s like a friend dad.”

Does Vili Fualaau Have Any Grandchildren?

Fualaau is expected to be a grandfather soon. In September, Georgia confirmed that she is expecting her first child. “I’ve known since I was about four weeks,” she said in an interview with PEOPLE. “I’m very excited to become a mother. I have an amazing mother to prepare me for those years to come.” The father’s identity has also been kept private, but he’s reportedly Georgia’s boyfriend of six years and an aspiring boxer.

PEOPLE reports that Georgia’s pregnancy was initially “hard” for Fualaau, but he has since come around. “He’s already buying baby stuff for me and giving me hand-me-downs from my baby sister [Sophia], which is nice,” Georgia said. “I just know that he’s going to be the greatest grandfather ever.”

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