Lorena Bobbitt cannot escape her past, says Helena de Bertodano in the London Daily Telegraph. On the night of June 23, 1993, while her husband John Wayne Bobbitt was drunkenly asleep at their home in Manassas, Va., she sliced off his penis with a 12-inch knife, drove off, and threw it out the car window. The assault made international headlines and reduced Bobbitt to a squirm-inducing punch line. “My past is like a scar,” she admits. But the 39-year-old manicurist defends her actions. After just a few months of marriage, she says, her husband had become a monster. “He would get frustrated at work and then he would come and beat me up or degrade me mentally. I was like his punching bag. I started to think, This is not right.” When she became pregnant, he forced her to have an abortion. On the night Bobbitt cut him, she says, he had tried to sexually assault her. Surgeons reattached Bobbitt’s member, and Lorena was found not guilty on account of temporary insanity. Fifteen years later, she has a boyfriend and a daughter, but still struggles with her life-defining moment. “I didn’t choose this recognition. If I went to a restaurant, people would wait for me to pick up a knife to cut a hamburger, then take a picture. I’m not glad it happened. It was a tragedy. If I could rewind, I would definitely erase my marriage.”
FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
Bobbitt’s moment of infamy
October 10, 2008
Try 4 Risk-Free Issues of The Week magazine.
of The Week magazine.