LORENA Bobbitt says she has no memory of cutting off her husband’s penis — but vividly remembers what happened next.
She found herself sitting behind the wheel of her car, desperate to flee the bloody scene, when she suddenly realised that she had a very unusual problem.
Getty Images – Getty Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis after years of domestic violence
Getty – Contributor John Wayne Bobbitt was discharged from the Marines and turned to drink as he struggled to find a job
Lorena, now 49, recalls: “I couldn’t drive because I had, you know, the knife in one hand and his organ in the other. I couldn’t even hold the steering wheel.”
She eventually did manage to drive off, hurling husband John’s manhood into a field en route.
It was June 23, 1993, and Americans Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt were about to become household names — and the punchline to a thousand jokes — right across the globe.
Every detail of the case was gleefully seized upon, right down to cops retrieving the body part and bringing it to hospital in a brown paper hot dog bag.
It was reattached in a nine-and-a-half-hour operation — and John went on to become a porn star in movies with titles including John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut.
Meanwhile, Lorena was found not guilty of malicious wounding by reason of temporary insanity, and went back to a low-key life, working as a manicurist.
However, she is now telling her full side of the story in a new documentary series called Lorena, which is streaming on Amazon Prime.
The mum of one reveals she felt she was never properly asked about her motives, because the focus was all on her then-husband’s infamous discarded appendage.
She says: “They always just focused on it, and it’s like they all missed or didn’t care why I did what I did.”
In fact, Lorena claims she was routinely threatened, punched and raped by former US Marine John, to the point where she was desperate.
JOHN BOASTED TO PALS ABOUT LOVING ROUGH SEX
She recalls: “I felt like I was in hell. I was suffering from anxiety.
“I couldn’t eat anything. I couldn’t even sleep. My health was deteriorating.”
Lorena had been born in Ecuador and grew up in Venezuela before coming to the US in 1987 at the age of 18 to go to college in Virginia.
She met handsome lance corporal Bobbitt at a dance hall, and they wed in 1989 after an eight-month courtship.
She was just 20 and he was 22.
But she says their relationship went wrong very quickly.
John was discharged from the Marines and struggled to find work, leaving Lorena as the breadwinner while he turned to drink — and, she alleges, violence.
She claims: “Within a month he punched me in the stomach.”
Lorena says the attack happened after they went to a dinner at which John had been drinking.
As they headed home, she alleges: “He was driving very fast and I got scared.
I was a virgin when I married John. To me, divorce was a failure. I had hopes things were going to changeLorena Bobbitt
“We were zig-zagging on the highway… I just held the steering wheel and then he punched me. That was the first time.”
Over the next four years, she claims it happened again and again, with police in Manassas, Virginia, responding to around six incidents of alleged domestic violence at their home.
On one occasion in 1991 they charged John with assaulting Lorena, and he was convicted.
Despite the problems, Lorena was reluctant to leave the relationship.
She explains: “I was a virgin when I married John. To me, divorce was a failure. I had hopes things were going to change.”
But finally, in the early hours of June 23, 1993, Lorena snapped.
John had returned to their flat after a night out, and she says he came into their bedroom and raped her.
She claims: “He grabbed my wrist and pressed it down to my hips. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and his chest, his right shoulder was on his face, my mouth.
“I asked him, ‘What are you doing?’ But he didn’t say anything.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to have sex,’ but he wouldn’t listen to me.
AFP – Getty John was driven to hospital by a friend and cops brought his penis to hospital in a paper hot dog bag
AP:Associated Press Lorena was not found innocent of malicious wounding by reason of temporary insanity
“He wouldn’t let me go. He pulled my underwear down then he forced himself into me, again.
“I was trying to cry loud but I couldn’t breathe. It was hurting me… I told him, ‘Why do this to me again and again and again.’
“He pushed me away and said he didn’t care.”
Lorena then went to the kitchen for water — where she spotted a 12in knife in the glow of the refrigerator light.
She returned to their bed where John seemed to be asleep — and grabbed his manhood.
He later said of this initial touch: “I thought she was trying to get me hard again.”
Instead, before he could react, she had sliced off his member and fled the scene.
Meanwhile, John tried to staunch the bleeding and got a friend to drive him to hospital.
When officers arrived in the couple’s home, they found pamphlets about rape and domestic violence.
And when they interviewed Lorena she told them: “During the marriage, John was raping me a lot.”
‘I WOULD SEE THE MARKS ON HER THROAT’
In the four-part documentary she alleges: “As much as I wanted to fight him and say no, it seems like the more he wanted to do it.”
Before Lorena’s trial in early 1994, John was quickly tried and acquitted on a rape charge.
In her own trial Lorena successfully pleaded not guilty by reasons of temporary insanity.
Witnesses testified about the bruises they had seen on her and the times John had boasted to friends about his enthusiasm for very rough sex.
In archive footage featured in the new series, Lorena’s former nail salon boss said: “She would come over and I would see the marks on her throat.
“She would have rug burns on her arms. She had a bump on her head one night and bruises through her back.”
But John has insisted he was never violent, telling a newspaper: “She was never abused, she was always the abuser and she cut off my penis because I was going to leave her.”
The trial was a sensation — with stalls set up outside selling souvenirs including chocolate willies with red-icing “blood” at the base — and comedians had a field day.
During a stand-up set in 1994, Robin Williams riffed: “Maybe the problem was he was abusive. She got on the phone to a friend and said, ‘He abuses me.’
“Her friend says, ‘Well, throw that pr*ck out of the house.”
They didn’t understand. Why would they laugh about my suffering?Lorena Bobbitt
Meanwhile, shockingly, controversial US radio star Howard Stern announced on his show: “I don’t even buy that he was raping her — she’s not that great-looking.”
Lorena, who went on to divorce John, now says: “I was the subject of so many jokes in the Nineties and to me it was just cruel.
“They didn’t understand. Why would they laugh about my suffering?”
But after years of therapy, Lorena has now made peace with the jibes.
She explains: “I’ll put myself through the jokes and everything as long as I can shine a light on domestic violence and sexual assault and marital rape.”
Her focus is now on the Lorena Gallo Foundation, set up in her maiden name and dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence.
And unlike her ex-husband, she has avoided the spotlight, even turning down a million-dollar offer to pose in Playboy, despite being broke and the sole provider for her parents after her divorce at the time.
Amazon Prime Lorena is now telling her side of the story on a new documentary series on Amazon Prime
Handout After a reattaching his penis, John Wayne went on to become a porn star
She says: “My family, we just ate beans and rice and hot dogs because that was the cheapest thing.
“Do you know how much a million dollars would have helped?
“But I stood up for my beliefs, my integrity, my Catholicism.”
Lorena enrolled in community college, where she met her partner of the past 20 years, David Bellinger.
The pair had a daughter, Olivia, together in 2005.
Meanwhile John, now 51, has lived on disability benefits since 2014 after breaking his neck in a car accident.
He is furious at his portrayal in the Amazon series, fuming: “Lorena lied and made this all up.
“She just went with it, and she’s still going with it. And it sucks.
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“Why not stick up for battered men too? Because men are also battered by women.
“I was battered by Lorena. My penis was cut off. I woke up without a penis.”
But Amazon filmmaker Joshua Rofe insisted: “It was our expressed intention to right the wrongs of the past by giving Lorena a platform to tell her side of the story as a survivor of domestic violence.”
Lorena is on Amazon Prime now.
Getty – Contributor In 1991 John Wayne Bobbitt was charged with assaulting his wife and was convicted
Reuters Lorena Bobbitt avoided the spotlight and rejected a million-dollar offer to pose in Playboy
John Wayne Bobbitt recalls the moment he woke up and realised that wife had chopped his penis off on The Bobbitts: Love Hurts