It happened 23 years ago, but John Bobbitt remembers it like it was yesterday.
On June 23, 1993, Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis with a kitchen knife. Panicked, she jumped in the car and drove around Manassas, Virginia, before throwing the severed appendage out her car window. Police retrieved the penis in a field, and a surgeon successfully reattached it.
The incident marked the end of their marriage, and the ensuing trial turned John and Lorena Bobbitt into household names. Lorena was tried for the attack, but acquitted by reason of temporary insanity.
More than two decades later, John Bobbitt is speaking out about the attack — and how it changed his life.
Now 49, he discusses the incident this Saturday on Scandal Made Me Famous, a true-crime docuseries on the Reelz Channel.
In the episode, Bobbit talks about how he initially didn’t realize the severity of the attack, but soon realized what had happened. “I looked down and there was blood everywhere,” he tells the show. “It was a devastating thing to happen to you suddenly. Suicide seemed like the only answer.”
But it didn’t come to that. Surgeons successfully reattached his penis, and Bobbitt soon figured out that he hadn’t lost his ability to perform sexually. He acted in a handful of adult films, which he notes were some of the best-selling porn movies in history. He made dozens of television appearances, and became a mainstay on Howard Stern. (Stern paid for a penile enlargement for Bobbitt.)
Lorena Bobbitt kept a lower profile, reverting to her maiden name and working in a beauty salon. She remarried, and founded Lorena’s Red Wagon, a non-profit organization that helps victims of domestic violence.
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Last year, she told Steve Harvey that she is looking forward, not back. “I have a new life now and I just want to focus on what is positive and I surrounded myself with positive people,” she said. “We understand that my story actually has humor, but we also shed light on domestic violence, as well.”
John Bobbitt’s Life Today
More than 23 years after the attack, Bobbitt makes fewer public appearances. He works as a driver, but is currently recovering from a back injury. While he had brushes with the law after the attack, he now says he’s living a quiet life.
Surprisingly, he holds no ill will against his ex-wife, who he hasn’t seen in several years. “I don’t blame Lorena,” he says. “We both hurt each other. I wish her the best.”
Scandal Made Me Famous combines reenactments, exclusive interviews and never-before-seen photos and video to tell the story of infamous crimes. The show is hosted by PEOPLE Senior Writer Steve Helling.
The John and Lorena Bobbitt episode premieres on Saturday (9 p.m. ET) on the Reelz Channel.