‘I Was Lorena Bobbitt’: Where is she now? Real story of how she chopped off penis and helped coin ‘bobbitize’
Who is Lorena Bobbitt? In 1993, a woman cut off her husband's penis and shook the entire world. Married to John Wayne Bobbitt, her relationship made headlines owing to years of domestic abuse and marital sexual abuse.
After being raped, beaten and sodomized by her husband, Lorena, barely 24 then, took matters into her own hand. On June 23, 1993, John raped his wife Lorena and when he was asleep, she went to the kitchen for a sip of water and grabbed an eight-inch carving knife on the kitchen counter.
Within split seconds, she pulled off the bedsheet, chopped off his penis and drove away in her car. Reportedly, she held it in her hand and after struggling to steer with one hand, she threw it out the window into a roadside field. Afterward, she dialed 9-1-1 and told them the whereabouts of the dumping.
A long and exhaustive search operation followed and John's penis was found, washed with antiseptic and packed in saline ice. His penis was reattached after a nine-and-a-half hour-long surgery. During the trial, details of their violent and tense relationship were revealed and Lorena stated that John sexually, physically and emotionally abused her during their marriage.
Meanwhile, John was acquitted from the rape charges and eventually went on to star in two pornographic films in the 1990s. After the scandalous incident, a new term was coined — ‘bobbitize’. The term means "to remove someone's penis, generally out of rage." Since then, bobbitizing or bobbing is referred to when a woman threatens or acts to remove a man's penis through non-surgical means.
So where is Lorena Bobbitt now? After the trial, she went back to use her birth name, Gallo, to keep a low profile. In 1997, news surfaced that she punched her mother, Elvia Gallo. However, she was acquitted and continued to live with her mother while working at a beauty salon.
In 2007, she founded Lorena's Red Wagon, which is now called Lorena Gallo Foundation. In an ET Online interview, she says that her mission is to “expand domestic violence and sexual prevention education and [provide] emergency response resources and community engagement for survivors and their children.”
After June 2008, she appeared on the CBS News program The Early Show, and came along with John to Oprah Winfrey's talk show in May 2009, where he apologized to her publically. Since the incident, Lorena made appearances on talk shows and news interviews to reflect on the aftermath.
In 2019, a four-part Amazon docuseries 'Lorena' dropped, which detailed the incident and featured in-depth interviews with Lorena and John. As a new Lifetime movie, 'I Was Lorena Bobbitt', released this year, it gave her a chance to open up about her life and reshape the story. “It's a shame that it took so long for people to actually see it through the lens of the #MeToo movement and the perspective of domestic violence,” she said.
Talking about her difficult times, she added, “People used to judge me before, saying they don't believe my story. To tell the story again is more than a blessing, to me it is an opportunity to tell it right.”
She is now married to her new husband, Dave Bellinger, and the couple gave birth to their daughter, Olivia in 2005. Talking about her life, she said, “For many years, I kept a low profile and I avoided the attention,” adding, “I felt that it was the right thing to do, to come forward with my story. If I could help at least one person to escape domestic violence then all my pain and suffering that I went through was not in vain.”
In the future, she hopes to open an emergency shelter for people who go through abuse at the hand of their family members. “It will be a place where they can go and feel safe with their children, escaping their abusers, especially now in the middle of this pandemic,” she said in the same interview.