Lorena Bobbitt, the woman who cut off her husband’s penis in a crime of passion that made national headlines more than 20 years ago, opened up about the ordeal sharing the harrowing story of abuse she says led to her marriage’s gruesome end.
Bobbitt appeared on Monday’s episode of Steve Harvey to share her “bizarre story” and “shine the light on domestic violence.”
It's been more than two decades since Lorena, then 24 years old, cut off her husband John Bobbitt's penis while he was sleeping on June 23, 1993, after he allegedly attacked her following a night of partying.
But Lorena Bobbitt claimed that wasn’t the first time she’d been abused by her husband.
“Things started to change after, you know, we got married,” she told Harvey. “He was starting to disappear from the house, he would disappear for one day or two days. Turned out he had turned into an alcoholic, he was doing drugs and he was cheating with multiple women when we were married. So I was concerned with where he was.”
It was when she started questioning her husband that she says the real abuse began.
“He was just beating me up because he didn’t like to be questioned. But I had the right because I was the wife and I was confused,” she said.
Bobbitt talked about “battered wife syndrome,” saying she called police numerous times on her partner but he would make promises of change and she said she was too frightened to leave and had nowhere to go.
“I felt ashamed, I felt scared,” she said. “My body couldn’t take it, my mind couldn’t take it, I was very scared so obviously I snapped. I cut off his penis because he abused me.”
She went into cringe-worthy details about what happened the night she did the “unthinkable.”
“That’s what happens when a man pushes a woman so far and so low,” she said. “My self-esteem was down and he came that night and abused me. I went to the kitchen for a glass of water to calm myself up because he was abusing me that night and all the things I remember was I took a glass of water and then I found myself in the street with a penis in one hand and a knife in the other.”
John Bobbitt’s penis was later reattached after it was severed and the pair divorced after six years of marriage.
John Bobbitt has denied Lorena’s allegations of abuse and was acquitted of a charge of marital sexual assault in 1993. He said in a 2009 interview that he forgave Lorena and apologized for “the way I was back then.”
Lorena Bobbitt was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity in January 1994.
“I was insane,” Bobbitt said.
Lorena Bobbitt revealed on the show she has since remarried and now has a daughter.
"It's amazing," she said. "He's my soul mate."
She also added she started an organization called Lorena's Red Wagon, a shelter she said helps abused women and children through family-oriented activities.
"Something good has come of my negative," she said. "I wanted to bring hope to these children, to these women of domestic abuse."