Documentary on Lorena Bobbitt's story

LOS ANGELES • Lorena Bobbitt wanted to cut out all painful memories of her past but, 25 years on, has decided to tell her story.

In 1993, she cut off her husband's penis and the now 48-year-old's account is documented in Lorena, a four-part documentary on Amazon.

"I knew the scars would be opened up again. But I did it because I think that as a woman, a mother, a survivor, it is my duty to use my voice, which many victims of domestic violence don't have," she added.

The story of Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt garnered massive attention. On June 23, 1993, Lorena Bobbitt, then 24, cut off her husband's penis as he slept after he had raped her, she said.

"My case helped lift the taboo on marital violence, sexual abuse and rape by a partner," said Lorena Bobbitt, who was acquitted at her trial by reason of temporary insanity. She was sent to a mental hospital where she was discharged after a month.

The documentary, directed by Joshua Rofe, opened at the Sundance film festival in January.

When he approached her with the project, Bobbitt said: "I was dubious because until now, (other productions) had always focused on John, on the act itself, in a very sensationalist manner which overlooked what I had been through."

Rofe's film traces her life, from her relocation as a young girl from Venezuela to the United States. It moves on to her marriage, the start of the spousal abuse, the mutilation, the trial and her life these days.

Rofe also looks at the media harassment of Bobbitt and how she worked to rebuild her life with a new partner and daughter, now 13.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2019, with the headline 'Documentary on Lorena Bobbitt's story'. Subscribe