Lorena (2019) s01e02 Episode Script

A Woman in Trouble

Blair Howard:
What I remember very clearly
is after John's acquittal,
my secretary said,
"I've gotten several phone calls
from a lady with an accent."
Lorena came in and she sat
across from me.
She said, um,
"I don't know what to do.
"We went to court.
"Things did not turn out
as I expected,
"and I think everybody thinks
that I'm a very bad person
"and that I didn't
tell the truth
and I did a horrible thing
to my husband."
And she says, "I really don't
know which way to go from here."
She was very emotional,
and, you know, tears
literally were coming down
as she talked,
and that made quite
an impression on me.
She was very young.
I said,
"You appear to be genuine
in telling me your story."
I said, "But
the most important thing
"from a lawyer's standpoint
"is whether we would be able
"to independently
corroborate and confirm
"that he had abused her.
"If there is evidence
that that was occurring
"with some regularity,
then your story
becomes more believable."
Woman: After five months
of media madness
and John Wayne Bobbitt's
not guilty verdict,
he got as far away from the
scene of the event as he could.
John Wayne went west.
Gregg Murphy:
Once he was acquitted,
everybody was looking
to get an interview with John.
But Lorena's trial
was coming up,
and I suggested that John
should stay out of the press
until hers is over.
So they found this ranch
outside of Colorado Springs
that John could live on
where nobody would find him.
[cows mooing]
John Wayne Bobbitt:
Me and my brother Brett
went out there
for a few months
and it was nice.
It was great.
We rode horses and we had
they had little bulls,
you know, walked around,
and prepared 'em for shows.
One of 'em got away.
A thousand-pound bull,
his name was High Roller.
And he pulled away
and jumped up
and karate kicked me right in
where I got operated.
I was downdown in a ditch.
Elizabeth Vargas:
I gotta ask you, though,
I mean, especially after
what's happened to you
riding horses,
riding bulls,
I mean, is that painful?
WellOh, wow.
Yeah, it is.
Um, sometimes.
You know,
but I'm getting better.
John: It felt great, yeah,
felt good.
Felt good being
on the ranch.
And I met a girl there,
She became my girlfriend,
and we had a lot of good sex.
Felt good being with her.
She was a great girl.
I kinda wished, you know,
I would've, you know,
stayed with her, but, um,
I got sidetracked.
Come in
and join the party!
[girls cheering]
Murphy: Someone called me
and said, "Look,
John is talking about
leaving the ranch."
So I called John
and he said, "Well,
"there's a John Wayne Bobbitt
look-alike contest
going on locally somewhere
in Colorado Springs,"
at what was called Hooters.
[girls cheering]
And he said,
"I think I can win it."
[laughs] I said,
"Well, I would hope so.
But John, please don't go
off the ranch."
He unfortunately
did not listen to me.
So, Lorena,
now what was your
your beef with John?
- He forced me to have sex.
- I did not force
- Hey, John, no crosstalk.
- But I
No crosstalk.
Jokes was everywhere.
Approaching Thanksgiving,
the whole country
making jokes about me.
Uh, number four
Lorena Bobbitt excuse was
[audience laughs]
Lorena: David Letterman
used to call me his girlfriend.
And the jokes did bother me,
because I didn't know
how to handle it.
Man: It's so rare
in the United States
a penis is severed like this,
but my understanding is
that in Latin America,
and that's where
Lorena Bobbitt is from,
it's not all that rare.
Lorena: People were talking
about my background,
saying I was just
a hot-blooded Latina woman.
She is a jealous wife,
an angry Ecuadoran immigrant
whose American dream
of the good life
has been destroyed.
Lorena: It hurts my heart.
It hurts my brain.
It hurts my whole body.
I was living at Janna's.
I didn't want to do anything.
I didn't want
to do Christmas.
I didn't want
to do Thanksgiving.
Robin Williams on TV:
Come here and listen to me,
listen to me.
Maybe the whole problem
was, you know, he was abusive.
She gets on the phone
to the friend and says,
"He abuses me."
Her friend says,
"Well, throw the prick
out of the house!"
Lorena: You just have to
sit there and listen,
and there's nothing
you can do about it.
I was crumbling down.
Reporter: The Bobbitts
are getting a divorce,
and Lorena is scheduled
to go on trial
in this same courthouse
in about three weeks
on a charge of maliciously
wounding her husband.
Lorena Bobbitt's case
is drawing worldwide attention.
It's the trial
everyone is talking about.
Reporter: The media circus
for her husband's trial
is nothing compared
to the army of reporters
and television satellite trucks
forming up.
Robert Marsh: Initially,
Judge Whisenant said
"We're not gonna make this
a circus, Bob."
And, uh, so, uh,
"I don't think
I'm gonna let cameras in."
Well, Court TVyou know,
they're very smart
they brought in a very
attractive female attorney.
Well, about a minute
after they were
face to face, he said,
"Sure, come on in.
I think we can do that."
I thought, "Holy cow."
Murphy: For John's trial,
we didn't allow them
to put this on TV,
because it was
a sexual crime.
Lorena's case they did not
consider to be a sex case,
even though he had
his penis cut off.
That made no sense
to me whatsoever.
Lorena: They said that there
were gonna be cameras there.
My friends were saying,
"Are you ready for it?"
And I'm like,
"What kind of question is that?"
You're never
gonna be ready for any,
you knowof that.
Hauge: The attorneys called me
up and they said,
"The trial is being set
for December 23rd."
And I said, "Nobody's gonna
watch this at Christmastime.
"You gotta be kidding me.
Move it into January."
If you look
at Nielsen ratings,
viewership goes way down
'cause people are out shopping
and they're with
their families and all that.
So we had to move Lorena's trial
into January.
Live from fuckin' Newark,
the carjacking capital
of the world,
It's the "Miss Howard Stern
New Year's Rotten Eve Pageant!"
[cheers and applause]
Robin Quivers: Howard,
it's time to meet the judges!
John Wayne Bobbitt!
Howard: The great
John Wayne Bobbitt!
[cheers and applause]
John Wayne Bobbitt, of course,
had a terrible situation.
John, seriously, what
happened to you is horrible,
and that's why we're raising
money for you tonight.
Murphy: Howard Stern
had his annual
Miss New Year's Eve Pageant,
if you will.
Well, he decided to make it
a telethon, raise money
for John Wayne Bobbitt.
With the money calling in,
they had this penis meter,
[laughing] that would go up
every time
I mean, the whole show
was just a farce.
I mean, it was unbelievable.
Let's see how you did there,
John Wayne Bobbitt.
Take a look and tell me how much
money you raised tonight.
Well, we got, uh
[clears throat]
$190,900 raised.
That is beautiful!
Let's raise that penis, John.
It has been a pleasure raising
money for you and your penis.
John Wayne Bobbitt.
Months after the surgery,
John Bobbitt met
the volunteer firefighters
who found his severed organ.
Then once we found it,
we packed it in ice
and brought it to you as
fast as we could,
'cause we knew
that it was important.
Oh, I'm really glad
I met you guys.
Traffic was going
the other way,
so it was a little bit
easier getting there.
John: Yeah, I owe
you guys a lot, you know.
Take you guys
out for dinner or something.
Katie Couric: Bobbitt now
seems to be on a campaign
to improve his image,
even capitalize
on his misfortune.
I have some T-shirts
that I got here
from 25 years ago.
I guess, um, I went on tour
before Lorena's court case,
so I was having a lot of fun,
doing Howard Stern,
and I went on tour.
Got these
"Severed Part" shirts.
And uh, sold a lot of them.
Signed a lot of autographs.
And on the back
it says, "Love hurts."
You know,
it does hurt sometimes.
I was traveling,
doing shows,
radio, television.
You know, it's great,
you know,
being in the spotlight
and, you know,
people wanting your autographs,
meeting with you,
hanging out with you
and going to clubs.
"Yeah, John Wayne Bobbitt
in the house," you know,
and I'd go to concerts and
people are screaming my name
and all that, and
[cheers and applause]
It's great.
A lot of support.
People sympathize
[chuckles] I guess.
You know, can relate
to obsessive relationships.
You know, am I wrong here,
or was your wife
a crazy bitch?
I think that
everybody is slowly
figuring that out, yeah.
[cheers and applause]
Male Reporter:
The most controversial case
to hit this town
will once again
be on center stage.
Female Reporter:
Let's start out first
with the prosecutor
on this case, Mr. Ebert,
being the one
who was the prosecutor
in case number one,
the marital sexual assault,
and now on this charge,
malicious wounding.
That's very odd.
[indistinct chatter]
Have you recused
yourself, Mr. Ebert,
from the next trial?
Have I?
No, I won't.
I don't intend to,
unless somebody
can convince me
that I should.
Can you be vigorous
in prosecuting two people
- in the same instance?
- Sure.
It's not necessarily
John versus Lorena.
It's the state
versus these people.
In a barroom fight,
it's not unusual
for both parties
involved in a fray
to be prosecuted
Male Reporter:
Mrs. Bobbitt's likely defense
will be temporary insanity.
Female Reporter: The defense
says the rape,
after years of abuse,
put her over the edge.
With this case, we're entering
a plea of not guilty.
We were putting forth
a defense
of a form of insanity
in Virginia
irresistible impulse.
That defense was
anchored on the proposition
that she had undergone
a great deal of trauma,
and that night
was the trigger.
Female Reporter: This time,
she is the defendant,
and John is the victim.
If found guilty of maliciously
wounding her husband,
she faces a 20-year sentence.
Hauge: About three to five days
before the trial,
the prosecutor said,
"We have
a plea bargain for you."
Most cases
I try to reach
some kind of agreement.
This case was no different
than that.
Hauge: He said,
"Rather than going through
"a whole messy trial
and you being found guilty,
"you'll do four months in jail,
for admitting that this
was premeditated."
Lorena got on the phone,
and she was crying,
and she said,
"If I submit to a felony,
I can never become
an American citizen."
She said, "I'm going to risk
20 years in a prison,
because I want to be
an American."
Lorena: I said,
"No, I'm not a failure.
If I go back,
there's no way."
That's not what I wanted.
That's not what I wanted.
I want to be here.
[jet engine roaring]
Lorena: I came to America
the first time
when I was 16 years old.
It was springtime.
When we were landing
into Washington, D.C.,
it was just beautiful.
It was a dream come true.
I remember seeing
cherry blossoms,
flowers everywhere.
It was wonderful.
I felt like, "Oh, my God,
I wanted be here.
This is what I want it to be."
I wanted to come and move here
to thisthis country.
I was born in Ecuador.
By the time that I was
about 7 years old,
my parents decided
to move to Venezuela.
My parents work hard.
We were poor,
but we were happy.
In South America, we have
something called a quinceñera,
but because my parents
didn't have the means
to actually have
a big party and,
I said, "You know what?
I just want to travel
to the United States."
So I did it
as a sweet sixteen,
and I love it.
So I graduate from high school
in Venezuela,
and I moved here
when I was only 18 years old.
We have family here
in Virginia.
I had a student visa here,
so I was legal
to stay here in this country.
I didn't speak any
an ounce of English,
so I took English
as a Second Language, ESL.
And I was just
turning the TV to learn.
I was watching
during the daytime,
so soap operas
were everywhere.
"Days of Our Lives" was on.
- I love you, I love you
- [exclaims happily]
- I love you, I love you!
- Lorena: "All My Children."
it was game shows
"The Price is On."
oh, what was it?
"The Price is Right."
That was the fun one.
[audience yells indistinctly]
Johnny Olson:
A new Corvette!
[audience screams and cheers]
Lorena: The moment I set foot
in the United States,
I felt that I had to make it.
That was it.
There was no going back.
Just because this guy here,
this abusive husband,
was shattering
my American dream,
I would not let
I wouldn't let that happen.
So I was just trying to fight,
fight, fight it.
[indistinct chatter]
Male Reporter:
The "cut heard round the world"
comes to court at last.
The sensational trial
is attracting
quite a bit
of media attention.
Kristin Jeannette-Meyers:
There are about 15-20
satellite trucks,
about 200 reporters.
Female Reporter:
This time,
Court TV
is bringing the proceedings
into millions of homes.
Lorena Bobbitt
goes on trial today
on charges
of malicious wounding.
She's facing a 20-year
sentence in prison,
a maximum,
if she is convicted.
Get the original,
the only original
John Wayne Bobbitt
signed T-shirt.
Female Reporter:
And the entrepreneurs are back,
in greater numbers and with
a greater variety of inventory
than ever before.
Male Reporter:
The circus atmosphere
surrounding the courthouse,
testimony to the fact
that virtually everyone
is familiar with this case.
The atmosphere
around the courthouse
was, as you can imagine,
lots of spectators, vendors.
We had the media.
Everybody and their brother
wanted to come in
and see the trial.
David Kaplan:
This story was irresistible.
A "Newsweek" poll that we took
that 60% of the country
was paying attention.
That's all I, you know, want
Carlos Sanchez:
The interest level was huge.
There was constant demand
from editors
to get each new detail
about both John and Lorena.
The coverage of the
Lorena Bobbitt trial continues
Prince William County Courthouse
in Manassas, Virginia
Lisa Stark, ABC News,
Manassas, Virginia
CNN Live, Manassas, Virginia.
- [reporters clamoring]
- [camera shutters clicking]
Man: What are you gonna
tell the jury?
Um, well, I'll tell
the jury the truth.
Man: She says you raped her
and you beat her.
Right. But that
that wasn't true,
because thatthat came out
during my trial,
that, you know,
she was just lying,
and she was so inconsistent,
and she just
the jury didn't
believe her, and, uh,
you know, that's why
I was acquitted.
Female Reporter: This is a case
of one person's word
against the other.
The jury will have to decide
whether Lorena Bobbitt's story
is believable.
Howard: The defense team
who represented Lorena
in her trial
consisted of myself,
Jim Lowe, and Lisa Kemler.
It was the three of us
that conducted the trial.
Paul Ebert and
Mary Grace O'Brien,
you know, we knew
that they were gonna be
a formidable team
to go up against,
highly respected,
highly regarded,
and I knew that we were
gonna be in for a struggle.
Man: This is a live shot
of that courtroom,
and obviously you see
the defendant,
Lorena Bobbitt there,
Trial where John was charged,
she told me that
the long history of abuse
never was an issue
in that case.
She just was put on the stand
and told her story
about what happened that night,
and that wasthat was the
the case.
I told her,
"This time it counts."
[indistinct chatter]
Alright, so at this time now
I'll ask the bailiff to please
bring the jury back
and we'll then
proceed with
the opening statements.
Curt Gergely:
I had already seen how
the publicity was building.
I thought it was
gonna be a zoo.
I didn't really want to be
part of a media spectacle,
and, uh, I was lucky enough
to be the third one selected.
Clay Cocalis: The judge said,
"I'm not gonna ask you
"whether you've heard about
this case or not.
"I assume all of you have
unless you've been
living under a rock."
All he really asked was,
"Can you keep an open mind
about the facts that are
gonna be presented?"
Gergely: The jury
was selected within one day,
and we actually
started the case
at approximately 1:30 or 2:00
in the afternoon.
Paul Ebert:
Ladies and gentlemen,
John Bobbitt,
the victim in this case,
had his penis amputated.
You folks will have to judge
as to whether or not
what this woman did
to her husband
was justifiable
or excusable.
And you'll
have to base that
on what you hear
in this courtroom.
This is a case
about a young
petite delicate,
and naive woman
who, for four years,
the evidence will show,
suffered extreme brutality
which included things
such as rape, beatings,
and threats of more violence.
After you've heard
all the evidence,
you will believe
that there is no justification
for taking the law
into her own hands,
and that she acted in anger
or out of revenge,
and under your oath,
it is your duty
to find her guilty
and fix her punishment.
Kemler: The evidence
will show that at the time
when Lorena Bobbitt cut off
her husband's penis,
she was a battered woman.
It was his penis from which
she could not escape,
which caused her
the most pain,
the most fear,
the most humiliation.
I submit to you
that at the end of this case,
you will come
to one conclusion
and that is that a life
is more valuable
than a penis.
Thank you.
The prosecution says
it's very simple
She did it, she admits it,
and so she should pay
for her crime.
Might appear that
the prosecution's witnesses
this morning have been,
in a sense, rather routine.
That is the need
to prove the injury,
the medical steps
that were taken,
the police procedures
that were followed through.
The jurors were bombarded
by powerful images
of a mutilated John Bobbitt.
The impact of the photograph
is gonna be quite something
on that jury.
Woman: Yes, it's going to be
a defense uphill battle
to be able to overcome
the horrendous nature
of this injury.
In this case,
there wasn't much question
about what happened.
You had a history of violence
between both of them.
He wasn't the brightest bulb
that ever burned, and
she certainly was
a very volatile person.
Mr. Ebert, your witness.
Ebert: When was it that you
went to work at Legends, sir?
That was, I think, uh,
June 14th, 1993'93.
Ebert: Did your wife's
attitude change toward you
- when that happened?
- John: Yes.
I told her I'd be working
at this really nice bar.
She didn't like that at all.
She said that the girls
would be trying to pick me up,
and, or vice versa, and
she said she'd be spying on me,
you know,
checking me all the time,
make sure I'm not doing
anything wrong at work.
Mary Grace O'Brien:
Let me direct your attention
- to June the 10th of 1991.
- Yes.
O'Brien: And ask if
you and your wife
were present
when an incident occurred
- at Kings Dominion?
- Yes.
Sherry Biro:
We were standing in line
waiting for
the bumper cars.
All of a sudden,
Lorena just
she for some reason
got upset,
and, um,
she scratched John,
and she started, uh,
trying to, like,
scratch his face,
and she was punching him.
And John just
he just stood there,
'cause he really didn't
know what was going on.
[man clears throat]
Did the defendant ever
make any complaints to you
that John was abusing her?
- No.
- Did you ever notice
any bruises
or marks on her?
We always discuss about
our lives at home,
and our husbands,
and we had a discussion
what would we do if
our husbands ever cheated on us?
I made a joke and I said,
"You know,
I would probably kill him,"
and I said,
"I'm just kidding.
I'm probably gonna
take everything
and leave him."
And then I asked Lorena
what would she do?
And Lorena stated,
"I would"
Can I say it exactly like
Ebert: Yeah,
you say it exactly.
Lorena stated,
"I would cut his dick off,
'cause that would hurt him
more than just killing him."
Male Reporter: Lorena Bobbitt
looks like a woman in trouble
and she is.
The 24-year-old manicurist
was portrayed
by prosecution witnesses
as a vicious woman who
physically attacked her husband.
Man: Well, I think a lot
of people look at this and say,
"My God, these people
deserved each other."
Male Reporter:
A police investigator
who interviewed Mrs. Bobbitt
says she complained
about their sex life.
"He always have orgasm,
and he doesn't wait
"for me to have
to have orgasm.
"He's selfish.
I don't think it's fair,
so I pulled back shirt
the sheets, then I did it."
[indistinct chatter]
- Man: Yo, John!
- Woman: John, how did it go?
Male Reporter: At this point,
the prosecution
is expected to rest.
There will be
considerable rebuttal,
but the prosecution
will turn it over for a while
to the defense.
[wind whistling]
I do think that men and women
see this very differently.
And men see it as
a man being mutilated,
I think in the most awful way
a man can imagine.
Many women see it
as a woman
abused to such a degree
that she struck out
at the area that was
doing her the most harm.
You can still
be very sensitive
to the need to cut down
on abuse of women
and see this act
as different from the act
of many women
who are abused,
- who may kill their husbands.
- If you're a man, you may.
- [laughter]
- And you are.
I guess I can't help looking
at it that way. Fascinating.
If he did force her, then
she gave him what he deserved.
You don't force anyone.
Uh, I don't know.
I disagree with that.
I mean, that's
that's very cruel.
Kim Masters: There is
a battle of the sexes.
We went through it
with Hill-Thomas, you know.
All kinds
of terrible behavior
has been tolerated
and overlooked.
Along comes Lorena Bobbitt,
and women
were kind of
thrilled about it.
They were like, "Wow,
somebody struck back."
You know, it was really
almost shocking,
the degree to which
the women were excited.
You think that what
she did was appropriate?
I would've liked
to do that.
- Interviewer: You would have?
- Huh? Yes!
Yes, if I was
raped or wronged,
of course,
that's your first feeling,
to get back at somebody.
Whoopi Goldberg:
I was so glad
to see that someone
finally evened up the odds.
- [cheering]
- You know what I mean?
It's like, whoop
[imitates blade slashing]
Motherfuckers are panicking
across the country.
[laughter, applause]
Men don't know what to do!
You know, guys get
very uncomfortable
when you start talking
about their junk,
and removing it,
because for some reason,
you know, it is
it's sacrosanct.
She basically said,
"Never again.
"You're never gonna do this
to me again,
and I'm going to make you
remember what I'm telling you."
I thought it was
kind of stunning,
but I know men were like
you talk to men,
and they get little tears
in their eyes and stuff,
because it was just
it was unthinkable.
She did the unthinkable.
You see, women live
with the knowledge
that weird shit could happen
at any point.
You go down a dark alley
and whoosh, somebody grabs you.
And now, men actually
have to think about this shit!
- [cheers and applause]
- Yeah!
It's 1994, and the shit
is hitting the fan.
Women are pissed.
That's why they're going,
[chuckling] It seemed to
sort of shift some things.
Now it didn't totally
shift things,
I think it was really
she made her point.
Women have been abused
for centuries,
and men have been
getting away with it,
and now the tables
are turned a little bit.
[women chanting]
We support Lorena!
Women fight back!
We don't need a judge or jury
to tell us
whether or not
Lorena is telling the truth.
Lorena came forward herself,
said this man
was battering her,
this man was raping her.
That's all we need to know
to know that
Lorena is telling the truth.
Women: [chanting]
We support Lorena!
Women fight back!
Kim Gandy: We've supported
Lorena Bobbitt as we support
women like her
in her quest for justice
and in the search
for justice for all women
who are victims
of violence in this country.
In some ways,
I think that Lorena was
a symbol for what other battered
women were going through.
But it was really hard
to get to that point,
because there was
so little coverage
of her actual abuse
and so much coverage
of how she made sure
that he wouldn't do it again.
Now for a closer look
at our top story.
The defense began presenting
its case today
in the Lorena Bobbitt trial.
[indistinct chatter]
Female Reporter: It's the moment
everyone has been waiting for,
for defendant Lorena Bobbitt
to take the stand
and tell her side
of the story.
Howard: The team felt it was
absolutely necessary
that Lorena take the stand,
and tell the background
of their relationship.
The only person
who could tell that
was Lorena herself.
There wasn't any instruction.
I said,
"Just be yourself."
Woman: Raise
your right hand, please.
Do you solemnly
swear or affirm
that the evidence
you shall give to this court
shall be the truth,
the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth,
so help you God?
- I do.
- Woman: Please be seated now.
Lowe: When did you meet
John Bobbitt?
I met, um, John Bobbitt
on September of 1988.
Lowe: How old were you then?
I was 19.
Lowe: What was your reaction
to him?
I was in love with him.
I, um
To me he represent
Um, that was the beginning
of starting my family here,
in United States.
Lowe: When you came here,
where did you stay?
I stayed with Mrs. Castro,
which is a family friend.
Lorena: The Castro family
have two daughters.
Mercedes was
a year older than me.
Emily was
a year younger than me,
so I was right in the middle.
Amalin Hoyt: I met Lorena
through my sister.
She was actually living
at my sister's house.
My sister's very strict.
Very, very strict,
My nieces loved parties
and loved going places.
Lorena would go with them,
but she was quiet.
She was very naive.
For reasons
that my fate knows best ♪
I saw a boy ♪
Lowe: Where did you meet him?
I met him at the club.
- Lowe: At the what?
- Um, it's
it's an enlisted men?
Enlisted Marines' club.
Lowe: And where is that?
Lorena: Quantico base.
Lorena: The first impression
that I have was
that he was handsome.
He was a lance corporal,
Lance Corporal Bobbitt.
I am the girl
that he meets ♪
He, um,
came and asked me
if I would like to dance,
and I said, "Sure."
He has these
most beautiful blue eyes.
There was a chemistry,
you know.
Obviously he liked me,
so he asked for my phone number,
and that was it.
Janna Bisutti: She'd never
dated anyone else before,
and she just was totally
enthralled with him.
Lorena: We only dated
for 10 months.
We'd just go out for pizza,
or, you know, ice cream.
We were chaperoned, you know.
Everything was just innocence.
Lowe: Miss Bobbitt,
what is the family view
unchaperoned dating?
Um, my family
wouldn't allow it.
Lowe: What is the family view
concerning premarital sex?
My family
wouldn't allow it.
From what I know is, Lorena
fell instantly in love with him.
And he was handsome,
I must say.
But my nieces did not
like him at all.
The first time they met him,
they did not like him.
I think he liked to drink,
and he always
forgot his wallet
wherever they went.
The girls, Emily and Mercedes,
were like,
"Wait a minute,
you paid last time.
Why He doesn't pay,"
so they might just see
something that I didn't see,
but I didn't look at it as,
you know, like,
"Oh, this is on purpose.
He's doing it," or something.
I mean, you know,
I loved him.
Male Reporter:
CNN's live coverage
of the Lorena Bobbitt
trial continues.
Lowe: Ms. Bobbitt, had John
ever shown any violence
towards you to this time?
Had he ever referred to you
in any derogatory way
to this time?
He was a Marine,
and in the Marines,
they had a giant pool.
He invited to me to go.
He came out from the pool,
and he had this ring
that he found
in the bottom
of the pool.
It was actually pretty.
It was a bow, golden.
You know, obviously it was
somebody else's ring
that they lost
at the pool.
But that become
my engagement ring,
soI said,
"You have to be real.
You have to be serious,"
and he said, "No,
I'm serious.
I want to marry you."
So that was that was it.
Hoyt: When I heard that they
had gotten married, I, um
I didn't
I couldn't believe it.
I was like, "When? How?"
But all I know is that
she didn't go back
to my sister's after that.
And what I remember
hearing was
her parents were happy.
Lorena's parents were happy,
because, uh,
she had married an American.
We have our good times,
you know, our happy moments.
But things started to change.
He couldn't keep a job.
I don't know why.
Joseph Fletcher: There was
a nightclub right
basically across the street
from the apartment complex
in the shopping center there
that he was supposed
to be bouncing in,
and he bragged about being
a Marine and all this, and
I don't even know if he
worked there a whole week.
[chuckles] Like I said,
I don't ever remember
He worked there three weeks.
I don't ever remember
him working.
Male Reporter:
They bought a small home,
but when John got out
of the Marine Corps,
their only steady income
was from Lorena.
Lowe: Was it subsequently
The house was foreclosed.
Lowe: Could you make
the payments by yourself?
No, sir, I could not.
We are a married couple.
Whatever is yours is mine.
Whatever is mine is yours.
And I believe all this.
Male Reporter: She claims
that her desperation
to support both her
and her husband
solely on her income
drove her to crime.
Once she shoplifted
from this Nordstrom store,
and stole more than
$7,000 from her employer.
I didn't want to steal.
I was not in a good place.
I worked so hard,
and it was never enough.
II stole because
I have a lot of
a lot of payments to do
and I couldn't handle by myself.
Woman: But what you stole
from Nordstrom
didn't have anything to do
with paying the bills, did it?
I stole from Nordstrom
because he didn't like
my dresses,
and he always tell me
that I was ugly,
and I wanted
to be pretty for him.
And I was just so embarrassed.
I didn't want to tell anybody.
My family wasn't here.
My family was in Venezuela.
I didn't want them to worry.
And I didn't want anybody
to make any judgments
about what was going on.
It was just my business
and, um,
I was gonna try to work it
to work it out.
We continue with more
of Lorena Bobbitt's testimony
in her own defense at her
trial in Manassas, Virginia.
Bailiff: Come to order.
- Judge: Counsel,
ready to proceed?
- Lowe: Yes, sir.
Woman: The defense
is going to have to work
hard to portray John Bobbitt
in a different light
- Man: Mm-hmm.
- consistent with what
Lorena Bobbitt is saying.
What every case turns on
in the final analysis
over and over again,
is credibility.
Male Reporter: Defense witnesses
from the apartment building
shared by the couple
are expected to testify
to a series
of abusive incidents.
We'd done our homework,
had the documents
from the court.
We had coworkers.
We had next-door neighbors.
That was the way
we approached the defense.
You have to show the history
of the battered
of the battered wife,
and you have to have
build a bridge
from the battering
to this particular event.
Lowe: Did there
come a time when you
and John and Todd
went to a club
called Chelsea's?
- Yes, sir.
- Lowe: How long had you
been married
when that occurred?
Like about a month later.
Lowe: What happened
on the ride home?
The very first time he
he punched me.
We were driving back
home on the highway.
He's been drinking.
He was zig-zagging.
He was going,
like, around 85 or 90.
I was scared
and I told him to stop.
He would not listen to me,
so I st I grabbed
the steering wheel.
Lowe: Did he hurt you?
Yes, he did, sir.
He hurt me.
He punched me
in the chest.
I mean,
all I did was crying,
and I was just in pain.
And his brother
was in the back seat,
and he was
shaking his head "yes,"
you know, like, telling John
that he did right or whatever.
Lowe: What happened
when you got home?
Lorena: He took me
by my arm
and he take me up
to the apartment,
and then he, um
he kicked me.
He told me that,
"I told you tonot to cry."
Lowe: At some point
during that,
did Officer Francis show up?
Yes, he did, sir.
Lowe: What happened
when Officer Francis showed up?
Lorena: As soon as
John opened the door,
he immediately changed.
It was like he become
he became another person,
like, uh, calmed down
and everything.
He wasn't yelling.
He's not aggressive.
The officer said
if I have a place to go,
and I said, "No,"
but I leave anyways.
So II took my car,
and I stay in the parking lot
of my work.
Lowe: Where did you sleep
that night?
I sleep in my car.
Lowe: Did you tell anybody
about this?
No, I didn't.
No, I couldn't.
Lowe: Why not?
Because I was
I couldn't understand why
the person that I love
have reacted that way.
I couldn't understand
why my husband hit me.
I couldn't understand
many things.
I was in shock.
I was
I couldn't
I couldn't believe that.
I was embarrassed
to tell people, also.
And I thought
he might change.
He never gonna do it again.
Howard: There started
to be incidents.
There was a little pushing
and shoving,
and then that escalated
and got more violent.
And I said, "You think
anybody saw those things?"
She says, "Oh, definitely."
Will Hall: We lived
in Maplewood Park Apartments.
They were our neighbors.
Heard, um, a lot of arguing,
but it was always John
that I heard.
He was very dominating.
I mean, you could see it.
She was small.
She wasshe was a small woman.
She was maybe a buck-oh-five,
I don't know.
She was tiny.
Like, there was a time
that they got to arguing,
and, like, he kinda backed her
down, you know what I mean?
Say they would go
to the grocery store.
She'd be, like, carrying
all the bags with her head down,
all somber, and he'd be, like,
walking behind her,
always trying to act so macho,
I mean
She realized she made a mistake
when she married him,
but I think she was
way too scared
toto leave him.
Okay, um
John and Lorena were
at my mother's house
for a Christmas Eve reunion
we were having.
John gave her a box, um,
and told her to open it
in front of all of us.
And Lorena said,
"Okay, thank you,"
and just put it next to her,
and John says,
"Aren't you gonna open it?"
She opened the box,
and it happened to be
a very small underwear,
a little bikini.
Obviously she got
very embarrassed,
and she tried to put it
behind her back
so none of the guys
will see it.
And she got up,
and you could see
that she was
about to cry.
I saw him get in
his face got really red
and he follow her,
and grab her by the arm
and push her
against the wall.
I stopped
where I was going,
because I thought
he was gonna hit her.
He asked her,
"What's wrong with you?"
And she said,
"John, please, put me down."
And she was real scared,
so he just push her
one more time,
walked away,
and said, "Bitch."
In hindsight
[clears throat]
I don't know if anybody's
ever heard of this,
but youwhen they say
you can see it in the eyes
I see it in the eyes.
Like, when I look back
at some of the footage,
and some of his interviews,
it's in his eyes.
Howard: I asked her
if at any time when she
became a victim of violence,
domestic violence,
whether she ever reported that
and she said she had.
We've responded to complaints
of domestic violence
at their residence
about half a dozen times
in the past few years.
In one case,
we arrested John,
and charged him
with assault and battery.
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, like,
through her back.
He got upset with her
at a bar
because someone
looked at her
and therefore he yelled
and jerked her
and got very angry
with her.
Emily Castro:
She had bruises on her hip.
She was really, really upset.
I heard the ruckus upstairs,
running and banging
and heard her hollering.
And she'd said her husband
had raped her.
I just gave 'em that
those articles
on rape and domestic violence.
Too, I was abused wife, too.
He came up,
grabbed Lorena by the hair,
screaming, yelling,
they were fighting.
He was hitting her,
punching her.
Have you seen her bruised?
I seen many of bruises,
in the inside
of her leg,
and in the very backs
of her arms.
She had the bruises
on her right hip, here,
and on
her left shoulder, here.
On her face, also.
Male Reporter: The defense
provided witness after witness
to tell the jury
about bruises and scars,
both emotional and physical,
which they said were
inflicted on Mrs. Bobbitt
by the former Marine.
There were so many incidents
on which at different times
I call 911.
He kicked me, and he
slapped me on my face.
He pulled my hair,
grabbed my arm,
andand dragged me,
and he twist my arm
and my foot,
and hehe choke me.
Lowe: Would you show us
how he would choke you?
He would put his hands
around my neck,
and he would choke my, um,
this part of my neck.
He will put his two thumbs,
pushing me very down, low.
Diana Fletcher: You know,
she didn't really want
to talk about it that much.
That's something you hide.
I'd see her
on her way to work,
lady picking her up outside
that, uh,
her makeup was a little
thicker than usual.
You know, it's
she was covering it up,
red marks or bruises,
whichever the case may be.
But he's no man
to be beating on a woman.
- That's just
- Women hide stuff.
That's what we do.
We hide stuff.
Yeah, mm-hmm.
Well, I don't know
why they do.
I did for a while.
- I mean, not really
- Not with me.
- [laughs]
- I mean
Yeah, like I'd kill you.
I did for a while
with my first one.
I mean, I actually
When it got physical,
I took a pair of scissors
and stabbed him, and he
never touched me again,
but the mental, and I stayed
because I thought my son
needed a father.
But then when I was
getting ready to leave,
he up and got sick
and died, so
But I kinda understand
why women hide it.
I didn't tell people,
you know.
I didn't tell people
what was going on.
You just don't do that.
You know? You don't
You just don't do it.
Howard: There was a pattern
of physical abuse
and rape that she'd had to
endure during the marriage,
and she said the one thing
that he, uh,
he liked to have anal sex.
She said
when he would come in,
3:00, 4:00 in the morning,
drunk, she knew.
Laying there, she knew
what was gonna happen.
He would tell guys
he played basketball with
and they would, uh, engage
in what we call "guy talk."
Yes, sir, Mr. Kaopua,
would you give the members of
the jury your full name?
Kaopua: My name is
Johnathan Alika Kaopua.
Please be seated, sir.
Howard: Mr. Whitaker,
keep your voice up
so the members of the jury
can hear you, please.
Would you give us
your full name
and your age, please?
Whitaker: Jonathan
Michael Whitaker, Age 19.
Howard: Did you ever hear
Mr. Bobbitt make any statement
with reference to forced sex
and his attitude
toward forced sex?
- Yes, sir.
- Howard: Would you tell
the members of the jury where
and under what circumstances
that occurred?
Uh, me, John Whitaker,
and Lorenzo were in
Lorenzo's room talking
about girls and stuff.
Howard: Tell the members
of the jury
just what he told you,
as well as you can recall it.
He said that he liked
to make girls squirm,
and yell,
and make 'em bleed,
and yell for help.
He said, uh,
that he liked to have
that the way he liked
to have sex
was forced sex,
because that turned him on.
He liked He liked
to make girls squirm,
um, and he liked
to fuck 'em up the ass.
He liked to "eff" them
up the ass.
Ebert: And you don't know
whether John was
telling the truth
when he made that statement
or was just, shall we say,
engaging in
some sort of bravado
when he came in there,
isn't that right?
You could tell
he was serious.
Okay. Thank you.
Whitaker: I just wanted
to help. That's it.
Like, I was young, man,
watching my mother get spit on,
get her clothes
ripped off of her,
smacked around.
She'd go to call the cops,
he'd punch the phone
through the wall, you know?
I swore that I would never
have no female ever
feel that way
under my arm, you know?
Like, I would never
want to see a female
feel the way
my mom felt, ever.
Did you and John ever engage
in anything other
than vaginal sex?
He did it, sir.
I didn't.
Lowe: Did it happen
when did it happen?
We went to the bedroom,
and, um he, um
he grabbed me,
and he, um
he turned me, and
I was I was
with my stomach down,
and he, um
he did it.
He, um
He have, uh, anal sex.
Lowe: Did he ask you
if he could?
No, no, no.
Lowe: Did you give him
permission to?
No, no, no.
Did he use any lubricant?
No. No.
- No.
- Lowe: Was it forced?
Yes, yes, he did.
It happened.
- Lowe: Were you injured?
- Yes, I was.
Lowe: What injuries
did you sustain?
I was bleeding, sir.
[inhales, exhales]
Lowe: Did he ever threaten
to do it again?
- Yes, sir. Yes.
- Lowe: How frequently?
Um, every time
we would have sex.
He would, um
he would threaten me.
How would he threaten you?
He, um
[breathing raggedly]
Uh, he
He would say
he would like to have, um,
that kind of sex.
And, um
II wouldn't
I wouldn't let him.
I try not to let him
happen again.
[breathing raggedly]
[rain pattering]
[indistinct chatter]
Judge: Your witness.
Howard: Uh, I want to call
Mr. Bobbitt
as an adverse witness,
Your Honor.
- Judge: Mr. Bobbitt?
- Howard: Yes, sir.
Bailiff: John Bobbitt.
Howard: When you have a
"he said, she said" situation,
it is also a challenge
for the defense attorney
to attack the credibility
of the adversary
or the victim
Mr. Bobbitt,
in this case.
Man 1:
The victim has to be credible
and has to be sympathetic.
One of the reasons
that you have somebody
testify in person
is so you can see
how they're reacting
in questions.
Man 2: They're putting
him on the stand,
just exposing him
to the jury,
and that's just to try to get
a window into his character.
What the defense
wants to show
that this is not
a nice person,
or he's lying,
or he's capable of lying.
Howard: Mr. Bobbitt,
during the course
of the marriage, sir,
did you ever strike your wife?
- No.
- Howard: Never hit?
No, never, never did.
Howard: Did you ever forcibly
have sex with your wife?
No, I didn't.
I never forced my wife
to have sex, ever.
Howard: You ever pushed,
grabbed or shoved
your wife?
Um, yes, I have.
Howard: Okay. And have you
how many occasions
- Many. Many.
- Howard: have you had to?
- Many times.
- Howard: Many times.
John: And sometimes
I'd hold her down.
That's the only
you know, I mean,
you know, I could never
hit my wife.
I mean, I could
I'm afraid to hurt her.
I never hit her at all,
just push her,
and hold her down and
restrain her from hitting me.
You know, I'dI
I'd tell her,
"This is not normal.
I don't believe
in violence,"
and, you know, it's
not ladylike to strike out.
Howard: What I've seen
in my practice
and in my experience
with abusers,
is two things
there's the absolute denial.
The second thing is
the abuse generally
starts out
the way it did
in this case,
with pushing and shoving,
and the more it continues
without the other person
taking action,
it just continues to escalate.
Remember this form, sir,
that you filled out
and signed in front of
Kathleen Williams with
the Family Advocacy Group
at Quantico Marines?
Can't say I have.
Howard: You have?
I can't say II don't
I don't remember
this form at all.
Howard: You've got
a questionnaire,
which he has signed,
where he admitted instances
where he had struck his wife
and so forth.
I don't remember
this form at all.
Howard: And he says, "Ah,
I don't remember any of this,"
and I said, "Well,
look at the last page
and tell me if you can
identify the signature,"
and he said, "Yeah,
that's me." [laughs]
Howard: February 21, 1991,
you were charged
with assault and battery
of your wife.
Do you remember entering
a plea of guilty in court
to these charges?
Well, I didn't plead
guilty to it.
I just said, you know
I denied whatwhat she
she stated in this here,
what they said in here.
I didn't do nothing.
I didn't hit my wife
or anything.
She just, you know
they just said this.
Lowe: Officer Bodmer,
did you have occasion
to respond to a 911 call
at the Bobbitt house
- at one point in history?
- Yes, I did.
Lowe: Do you have
a recollection of whether or not
Mr. Bobbitt entered a plea
of guilty in that hearing?
John Wayne Bobbitt entered
a plea of guilty.
Howard: You remember
an occasion
when you assaulted
your wife,
and an Officer Francis
from the Manassas Police
came to the door?
Lowe: Did you knock
on the door?
Yes, I did.
Lowe: Who answered the door?
Mr. Bobbitt did.
Howard: You were
drinking heavily
on that occasion,
weren't you, Mr. Bobbitt?
- No.
- Howard: When that
- Pardon me?
- No.
I couldI noticed
an odor of alcohol
about his person, yes.
Howard: Did you ever
tell anybody
that you enjoyed
forcible sex?
Uh, no, no.
- Howard: Never did?
- No.
Howard: All right.
Howard: He's lying
to law enforcement.
He's lying
to the doctors, uh
he lied to everybody.
Female Newscaster: So let's
talk about John Wayne Bobbitt
as an adverse witness
what did you think?
He does seem to have
a problem recalling
a number of incidents that
are important to the defense,
and I think
that one possible liability
for John Bobbitt is if the jury
seems to get the impression
that he's insincere
in his selective memory.
Gergely: The defense did a
good job in cross-examining him
and getting him
to contradict himself,
and I'm sure that Paul Ebert
was sitting there cringing
as his star witness
sat there and just mumbled.
[crowd booing]
Female Newscaster:
John Bobbitt exited to jeers.
You could tell where
the sympathy lay,
at least with these folks
gathered at the courthouse.
[booing continues]
Cocalis: She really
came across as a victim,
and, you know, while you can be
somewhat callous
and say, "I think
she's being coached,"
there's still a pretty appalling
record of abuse
in that marriage.
Female Reporter:
Lorena Bobbitt
may have been abused,
but did it cause her
to go temporarily insane
when she mutilated
her husband?
That will be
the ultimate question
when this trial
resumes on Friday.
From what I saw,
it was clear to me
that Lorena Bobbitt had been
abused by her husband.
But from a legal and
mental health perspective,
it doesn't really matter
how abusive they'd been.
What matters is whether
she was so mentally ill
that she knew
what she was doing,
but she was incapable
of stopping that impulse.
That was the issue.
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