Lorena Bobbitt has always maintained that she cut husband John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis off after he raped her – claims he denies.
Standing trial for malicious wounding in 1993, the 24-year-old manicurist from Manassas, Virginia, US, told the court she had been sexually and physically abused by John, then 26, throughout their four-year marriage.
On that fateful night they were sleeping in separate rooms after deciding to separate.
But when John arrived home from a drinking session with a friend, he climbed into his wife’s bed, restrained her and forced himself into her, the court heard.
After the alleged rape, Lorena, 24, walked downstairs to compose herself before spotting a 12-inch knife sitting on the fridge.
She picked it up, climbed the stairs and removed John’s penis as he slept before driving to her best friend Janna Biscutti’s house with the organ in one hand and the bloody knife in the other.
"I cut off his penis because he abused me that much. That’s what happens when a man pushes a woman so far and so low," she told jurors.
"I remembered the first time he raped me. I remembered the insults and the bad words that he told me. I remembered every time that he had anal sex with me. He hurt me. I remember everything. Everything," she sobbed.
In a panic, Lorena wound down the window of her Mercury Capri and threw the appendage on a grass verge by a 7-Eleven store, where it lay for two hours before it was reattached in a nine-hour surgery.
But with her story set to be revisited in a new Amazon series about the trial, Lorena’s Marine ex-husband has offered up his own version of events, placing the blame firmly at her door.
"She wasn’t the beautiful woman I married – she’d turned into a monster," John, now 51, told Fabulous .
"Lorena was angry that I was divorcing her. She begged me to come back each time I left her, but the third time, I decided to finally end the relationship. She was devastated."
At trial, John insisted he’d been too tired to have sex with Lorena that night – although forensic evidence proved otherwise.
Their marriage was littered with a string of violent bust-ups, with Venezuelan-born Lorena and Niagara Falls native John repeatedly reporting each other to police for domestic violence.
Lorena had tried to record the alleged beatings, the court heard, but John discovered her secret voice recorder in her purse.
"He hit me, he slapped me, he pulled my hair, he knew it was his voice on the tape recorder," she testified. "He wanted an explanation and I didn’t give him one, so he beat me up later. He also raped me. He kicked me in my stomach and he threw me to the wall."
However, John now denies ever initiating the violence, telling the magazine, "Of course I didn’t hit her. It would have hurt her. I tried to restrain her a lot. I had marks on me, too, but I didn’t flaunt them."
The four-part docu-series, titled Lorena, has been produced by acclaimed Get Out director Jorda Peele and will explore the case in light of the current movement against domestic and sexual assault.
In the aftermath, John was charged with and found not guilty of marital sexual assault.
Lorena was also cleared at trial after court psychiatrist Dr Susan Fiester ruled she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and had been in a state of temporary insanity.
As a condition of her insanity defence she had to complete five weeks at the psychiatric Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia.
Meanwhile, John launched a porn career and underwent a penis enlargement in 1994.
He has since served 12 days for battering girlfriend Kristina Elliott, and was jailed numerous times for domestic violence against his third wife.
However, he’s now planning a book using the unheard scripts from his trial.
"This whole story is to do with a scorned woman that can’t control her anger. The world’s going to know the truth soon. It’s been a one-sided story for 25 years," he said.
Meanwhile, Lorena’s laywer Blair D Howard refutes his claims.
"Many independent witnesses corroborated Lorena’s stories of physical abuse. Clients at her nail salon witnessed John coming to the door, where he would yell and scream at her. Neighbours would actually see him grab her by the hair and pull her indoors and overhear their screams," she said.
"There was a general attitude that if two people were married, everything is consensual. How can you rape your wife?" Blair D. Howard, Lorena’s defence lawyer, says. "But in this case, she says it happened repeatedly throughout the marriage. Not only the physical abuse and the grabbing of the hair but then you also had the violence associated with sex."
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