Mary Jo Buttafuoco

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Mary Jo Buttafuoco is an actress-turned-author and motivational speaker from the United States. She was shot in the face by her husband’s young mistress, which turned her world upside down. The former actress has appeared in the film “Beat Boys, Beat Girls” and a couple of television programs, including “Howard Stern on Demand” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” Mary described her journey of survival in her book ‘Getting It Through My Thick Skull’, written years after she was shot in the face. The episode was reported in virtually every tabloid and newspaper, which piqued the curiosity of numerous filmmakers. Her life story is told in a documentary produced by the Tent City Entertainment production company. Mary has endured multiple surgical procedures, and her survival instinct has ultimately become an inspiration to many. She has now begun delivering motivational lectures in which she discusses the lessons she has learned from her arduous journey.

The Shooting Occurrence

Mary carelessly answered the door on May 19, 1992, unaware that this would forever alter her life. She was standing on her porch when Amy Fisher, Mary’s then-17-year-old husband’s mistress, shot her in the face. Fisher did not threaten her or disclose the gun until Mary fired the rifle.

Mary initially believed she was there to discuss the suspected affair between her husband Joey and Fisher’s younger sister. After a brief talk, when Mary turned around to enter her home, Fisher fired a bullet through her temple, leaving her lying in a pool of blood. She was admitted to the hospital immediately, where she remained in a coma for three days. The incident rendered her face immobilized on one side.

The Examination

At the beginning of the investigation, Joey and Mary denied all charges that they had a relationship with Fisher. Eventually, he was found guilty on multiple counts, and he admitted to having a sexual relationship with Fisher.

When Fisher was still a minor, he began dating her. In addition to being convicted of having forced Fisher to commit the act, he was also accused of raping a juvenile and arranging a murder. The owner of an auto-body company, Joey, was sentenced to four months in prison for multiple counts of statutory rape, sodomy, and endangering the welfare of a child.

Fisher was convicted of attempted murder and given a seven-year prison sentence. Due to her age, she was held in the juvenile section until she turned 18. Fisher was paroled in 1999 on the condition that she never contact the Buttafuoco family again, following an additional seven years in imprisonment.

Media and Tabloids

The story grabbed international news overnight. Throughout 1992, tabloids were inundated with articles about the affair between the teenager Fisher and the adult Joey. The horrible incident became the most discussed crime of that year and has failed to disappear from public consciousness.

In fact, the crime gained such notoriety that Fisher’s story was adapted into three television movies. She was dubbed “The Long Island Lolita” by the media.

Prior to Mary’s divorce from Joey in 2003, the pair had given birth to Jessica and Paul Buttafuoco. In 2007, the three individuals involved in the deadly love triangle met for an interview. Mary addressed the media with elegance and dignity, even stating that she had forgiven Fisher.

Sadly, Fisher appeared unfazed and made offensive words demonstrating a lack of compassion for Mary. Mary went on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2004 to describe her facial reconstructive surgery and the aftermath.

The Struggle for Survival

Mary was unable to grin for 25 years due to a hearing problem in one of her ears and facial paralysis on one side of her face. Despite miraculously surviving the close-range shot, she battled for years with her damaged visage. Her initial operations were extremely risky and deadly, so physicians operated on her face while the bullet was still lodged in her neck.

After the initial surgery, she was entirely dependent on opioids for years, which led to her becoming an addict. The majority of her surgeries were performed in the Betty Ford Center, where she was transferred for rehabilitation. Mary partially recovered after several years and was relieved of her discomfort and blood clots. Nonetheless, she remained scarred and paralyzed.

Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, a plastic surgeon, watched her on the Oprah show and promised to repair her facial paralysis; nevertheless, the glimmer of hope was accompanied by numerous obstacles. Dr. Azizzadeh’s greatest obstacle was keeping facial symmetry when sculpting her face.

He began by performing a facelift, an eyelift, and restoring the nerves that had prevented her from smiling. Next, he performed surgery to enlarge her ear canal, which enhanced her hearing and prevented further infections. Later, the process was described in the journal Inside Edition. In addition, she had physical therapy to improve her facial muscles.

The Main Text

With the publication of “Getting It Through My Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know,” Mary broke her silence. In the book, she detailed all of her life experiences up to that point. She also addressed the frequently questioned issue of why she remained with Joey for so long after the tragedy.

The book was co-authored by Mary and Amber Frey, a writer and victim of a similar tragedy. In addition to the incident, Mary has disclosed numerous details about her ex-husband. She stated that Joey was a drug addict who underwent multiple de-addiction programs. Mary referred to him as a sociopath and liar.

Instructing Many

Mary’s almost decade-long survival experience made her understand that people are still ignorant and unsympathetic about facial paralysis and its sufferers. She used her tale to teach others. She also took part in a walkathon to raise awareness of facial paralysis.

She also starred in the Reelz Channel premiere of the series Scandal Made Me Famous.’ Reenactments, unique interviews, and never-before-seen photographs and recordings were used to tell the tale of the historic crime on the program. People magazine’s senior writer Steve Heller hosted the episode.

Tent City and Fremantle Media, North America, announced that they will release a documentary on the 25th anniversary of the notorious event. Katie Zwick and Christina Kuo negotiated the agreement. Sharlene Martin of Martin Literary and Media Management, who also represents Mary, will serve as an executive producer with Tent City Entertainment’s Ansaldi and Lisa Bourgoujian.

The New Commencement

In 2003, following her divorce from Joey, Mary wed Stu Tendler, a shop manager in Las Vegas, Nevada. She regained the strength to trust and believe, and as a result, she discovered renewed hope in a committed relationship.

Estimated Net Worth

Mary Jo Buttafuoco, an American motivational speaker, is reported to have a net worth of $2 million.