There are various standardized ways of becoming popular; entertainment, sports, science and technology, and politics are just some of them. Through various positions and professions under these big industries, a person could become a celebrated persona. However, every so often, someone who doesn’t belong to any of these industries does something, either through luck or human action and becomes the subject of celebrity attention and treatment. In 1992, that person was Joey Buttafuoco, whose wife was shot in the face by Amy Fisher, a minor he was having an affair with.
The story of Joey Buttafuoco who went from normal auto body shop owner to a national celebrity was talked about on every media platform from Saturday Night Live to Larry King Live. Questions still abound about who Joey Buttafuoco is and where he is now, 27 years after the incident. Learn all of this by reading below.
Joey Buttafuoco’s Biography
Certainly, his parents did not think their son would become famous for having sex with a minor when they welcomed Joey to the world on the 11th of March, 1956. Like every parent, they raised their child in the best way possible and hoped he would go on and make something of himself. Joey, who was born in Massapequa, New York, with the full name Joseph A. Buttafuoco, was raised in an American and Italian household. Although it isn’t clear if he attended college after graduating from Massapequa High School, Joey, for a long time in his young life, lived a normal, scandal-free life.
The normalcy continued into adulthood when he got married to his first wife Mary Buttafuoco on the 4th of September, 1977. The marriage between the couple went on without any major scandal for 18 years until the fateful day on the 19th of May, 1992, when Mary Buttafuoco answered the door at their home and was shot in the face by Amy Fisher.
An investigation would later reveal that Joey Buttafuoco had been in a relationship with Amy Fisher, a high school student whom he met after she brought her car into his auto body shop for repairs. At the time, Amy Fisher was a 16-year-old and was dating Joey who was 37 years old at the time. With Amy Fisher in love with Joey and completely jealous of the continued presence of his wife, Mary Buttafuoco, she concocted a plan to kill his wife.
The unfortunate execution of the murder plot left Mary Buttafuoco paralyzed on half of her face and partially deaf after she was shot by Amy Fisher with a semiautomatic pistol. During the investigation of the incident which drew the attention of national publications, who sensationalized the violent love triangle, Amy Fisher was found guilty of attempted murder and was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison.
Joey Buttafuoco, however, despite repeated claims by Amy Fisher and her lawyer that the murder plan was the brainchild of Joey and herself, was only found guilty of statutory rape after evidence confirmed that he was in a sexual relationship with Amy Fisher who was considered a minor at the time because she was only 16. He was indicted on sodomy, statutory rape, and endangerment of the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to just six months in prison after pleading guilty to statutory rape and was released after spending just four months out of his six months sentence.
Riding on the fame of the incident, Joey and Mary Buttafuoco moved to California. The couple remained together after the incident until 2003. During their time together after the incident, Joey and the wife made several television appearances including on Celebrity Boxing before they eventually got divorced. Since the divorce, he has appeared on other television shows like Larry King Live, Lingerie Bowl, Judge Pirro. He has also starred in films like Cul-de-Sac, Perversions of Science, Finding Forrester. He has starred in a total of 12 films thus far.
Despite the fame and multiple television appearances, Joey enjoyed at the height of the incident that catapulted him to fame, multiple scandals, including insurance fraud, have left him with very little financial net worth. He is currently estimated to be worth a paltry $20,000.
Family – Wife, Divorce, Kids
Despite Amy Fisher’s attempt to break them up, Joey remained married to his wife, Mary Jo Buttafuoco until 2003 when she filed for divorce. Since then, she has pursued a life outside the spotlight. Her most recent major appearance in public was a 2010 release of a book about the infamous incident. Till this day, she still has a bullet from the incident lodged in her neck.
Although the latter years of their marriage were anything but normal, they had a normal marriage for a larger part of their 18 years as a couple, giving birth to two children – Paul and Jessica.
After the divorce, Joey has since remarried. He was married to Evanka Frankjo in 2005 but the marriage ended in divorce in 2007.
Where is He Now?
At the moment, Joey is still making television appearances on shows like Scandal Made Me Famous. As for his profession as an auto body shop owner, he has been banned from the profession for life after he was caught committing insurance fraud.