In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt and John Bobbitt turned family names after years of alleged home abuse and assault led to Lorena slicing her then-husband’s penis off with a knife. The incident and subsequent trial, the place she was discovered not responsible by cause of madness, turned a supply of unending tabloid headlines and late-night jokes as each tried to maneuver ahead with their lives.
For Lorena, who was simply 24 on the time of the assault, that meant retreating from the highlight. However now, almost 30 years later, Lorena is revisiting this traumatic time in her life — and reclaiming her story — with the Lifetime film I Was Lorena Bobbitt, which premieres Monday, May 25. “Individuals used to evaluate me earlier than, saying that they do not imagine my story. To inform the story once more is greater than a blessing, to me it is a chance to inform it proper,” Lorena tells ET. Along with government producing and narrating the movie, she additionally stars within the community’s new PSA for the Nationwide Coalition In opposition to Home Violence.
Nonetheless, the Lifetime film starring Dani Montalvo as Lorena and Luke Humphrey as John isn’t the primary time Lorena has spoken out. Final 12 months she appeared on digital camera to element her life on the time within the Jordan Peele–produced Amazon docuseries Lorena, which additionally featured interviews with John. “These, to me, had been two great, unimaginable platforms to proceed this motion in opposition to [domestic abuse] points,” she says, including that these initiatives are “an effective way to achieve folks of all types of walks of life.”
“For a few years, I stored a low profile and I averted the eye,” Lorena Bobbitt says of eager to create a considerably regular life together with her new husband, Dave Bellinger, and their daughter, Olivia, whom she gave delivery to in 2005. However she quickly acknowledged that not a lot has modified for home violence and survivors within the years since her personal experiences, and he or she wished to change into an advocate for victims and survivors alike. “I felt that it was the fitting factor to do, to return ahead with my story,” she continues. “If I might assist at the least one particular person to flee home violence then all my ache and struggling that I went by was not in useless.”
Since then, Lorena has made appearances on various talk shows and spoken at size with the likes of the New York Times and Vanity Fair, however the docuseries and Lifetime movie had been the primary two instances that she might reshape her story, particularly within the wake of the #MeToo movement. “It is a disgrace that it took so lengthy for folks to really see it by the lens of the #MeToo motion and the attitude of home violence,” she says, which is why she thinks it “is essential to really speak about these tales.”
That additionally contains her 2020 Webby-nominated, in-depth interview with Amanda Knox for the sequence The Truth About True Crime. “We instantly hit it off,” Knox previously told ET of her reference to Lorena, whom she applauds for turning her life round to assist others.
Along with her work as a public speaker — reaching out to scholastic packages, personal sectors and the Latinx neighborhood — Lorena has change into a devoted advocate for survivors and victims of home abuse, which she says doesn’t discriminate primarily based on age, gender or race. “It might occur to anyone,” she says.
In 2007, she based Lorena’s Crimson Wagon, which is now referred to as Lorena Gallo Foundation. “The mission is to broaden home violence and sexual prevention schooling and [provide] emergency response sources and neighborhood engagement for survivors and their kids,” she says.
Lorena Bobbitt additionally has goals of opening an emergency shelter for victims affected by home abuse. “Will probably be a spot the place they will go and really feel protected with their kids, escaping their abusers, particularly now in the course of this pandemic,” she says, referring to the coronavirus outbreak, which has solely exacerbated the problem. “So we’re mainly coping with two main issues right here.”
And on the subject of public talking, or her basis, or collaborating in these TV initiatives, “it’s essential for me to be prepared and be sturdy,” Lorena says for many who are watching and listening so that they know what lies forward. “All of the trauma has really made me the resilient individual that I’m in the present day.”