Whatever Happened To Joey Buttafuoco?

In 1992, the nation was captivated by a horrendous crime saga involving a 17-year-old student named Amy Fisher and her alleged lover, a 35-year-old auto repair shop owner named Joey Buttafuoco. Fisher shot his wife, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, in the head at their home in New York, but Mary Jo survived. Dubbed the "Long Island Lolita," Fisher served seven years in prison, and Joey spent six months in jail after pleading guilty to one count of statutory rape, according to USA Today

What's become of Joey since his release? We've got the scoop.

He divorced Mary Jo in 2003

Joey and Mary Jo remained married after the shooting in 1992. It wasn't until 2003, after 26 years of marriage, that the couple called it quits, according to USA Today.

"It's OK. To move on you've got to get a divorce," Joey told the paper at the time. "She's with another guy. His name is Stew. I've been with a girl for awhile, too." Joey's attorney claimed the pair remained friends and were trying to work out the details of the divorce amicably.

Mary Jo remarried a businessman from Queens, N.Y. in 2012.

His ex-wife thinks he's a 'sociopath'

Years after the couple split, Mary Jo shared some personal opinions about her ex-husband. In fact, she straight up called him a "sociopath" in the series Scandal Made Me Famous

Sociopaths "can charm the snakes out of the trees," she said (via People.) "That is one of the traits about Joe that I loved so much about him. And he was very, very good at it, as most sociopaths are." She also called him a sociopath in her 2009 autobiography, Getting It Through My Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know. 

According to Newsday, Joey pushed back against her characterization. "Being deceitful, being not a good husband is one thing, but calling someone a 'sociopath' goes beyond the pale of normal discourse," said his attorney, Russell Halpern. "A sociopath is someone to be afraid of, someone not to be left alone in a room with. As a public figure, he rightfully can be attacked on things that are out there in the public, but this goes well beyond that." 

He's still reliving the drama

Though Joey has sought "total redemption" for the mistakes of his past, his scandalous love triangle continues to haunt him. In an interview with the TV series Crime Watch Daily, Joey describes how he's been treated on the street.

"Public opinion was against me right from the beginning within the first two weeks," he says on the show. "Anytime I left my house, even when I was with my children...people would say to me horrible things like 'You're a scumbag. You're a murderer. You tried to have your wife killed.'" At one point, Joey even feared for his life. "People shot at me all the time. One time bullets came past me and they were going right through the glass in my business."

Joey loathes his celebrity status. "Fame is earned," he says. "This is infamy. 'Icon of the '90s' they call me. Imagine that." He says his legal battle also cost him dearly, claiming he and his father racked up $1.7 million in legal fees. 

His daughter claims her childhood was stolen

Joey and Mary Jo's kids became less obvious victims of the "Long Island Lolita" case. Speaking with Oprah Winfrey in 2005, daughter Jessie says her childhood was stolen from her, yet she's found a way to move forward. 

"If anyone has an excuse to do anything horrible in the world, to shoot people or blow up buildings, I feel like it's me and my brother and the O.J. Simpson kids. But you don't see either of us doing that," she told Oprah (via the New York Daily News.) "I graduated from college. I have a degree." Those dark days following the shooting were "definitely emotionally draining," she said, "and I think it was even harder for me when I got older."

 While Jessie has kept in contact with her father, she said her brother, Paul, changed his last name and wants nothing to do with his dad.

He was arrested for auto insurance fraud

Joey found himself on the hook again in 2003. According to CNN, he was charged with three counts of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft after he and ten other suspects "were swept up in a multi-agency task force investigation into bogus insurance claims filed for cars that were not damaged." At the time, Joey owned an auto-body repair shop called California Collision in Los Angeles. 

He pleaded guilty to a single felony count and was sentenced to one year in jail, five years probation, and ordered to pay $4,600 in restitution, reported CBS News.

He faced charges for illegally possessing ammunition

Joey broke the law once more in 2006 when he was busted for possessing ammunition–a violation of his probation–and ordered to stand trial, reported CBS News. Joey ultimately pleaded no contest and was sentenced to another year behind bars. According to Fox News, he was released in April 2007 after three months.

He and Fisher reunited over dinner

According to ABC News, Joey and Fisher met for a dinner date in Port Jefferson, N.Y. in 2007. Their reunion, captured by The Insider, sparked rumors of a rekindled romance. "I'm not 16 anymore," Fisher told the show. "We are definitely are our reality... We know we're unconventional."

As the media attention mounted and buzz about a potential reality show emerged, Joey's ex-wife, Mary Jo, had nothing but nasty things to say about the whole thing. "Why do we like train wrecks? Why do we like to watch? Why do we slow down when we go past an accident scene? It's the nature of the beast, I guess," she told ABC News, noting that her husband may agree to a reality show if the price was right. "Joe has lost everything," she said. "He doesn't have a business; he's been in jail more times than I can count. He has nothing. There's nothing in his life, and he's hit rock bottom, and so this is what he does." 

He boxed Fisher's husband

Joey has sporadically climbed into the ring to throw a few punches on the reality series Celebrity Boxing. In 2002, he took on former WWE wrestler Chyna (real name Joan Marie Laurer) and won, and in 2011, Joey put on his gloves again to box Fisher's husband, Lou Bellera, for Celebrity Fight Night. Laurer reportedly trained Bellera for the bout. At least the whole thing was for a good cause — raising money for the FilmOn Charitable Trust. 

He became a small-time actor

Despite bouncing in and out of jail, Joey felt really good about his prospects in Hollywood. "I just came from an audition at 20th Century Fox," he told New York Magazine in 1998. "It was a good reading. I just do what feels natural. I went into this reading today very confident." He refused to name the film he was auditioning for, saying, "It's a very major film. Big director, big stars. Very big. They don't come any bigger." 

At the time of this writing, his most notable movie role was that of the "Night Man" in Finding Forrester (2000), which starred Sean Connery. His most most recent gig was that of a doctor in a 2010 short titled False Reality. It's not exactly Oscar-worthy stuff, but Joey seems very pleased with himself.

"My self-esteem is good," he told New York Magazine. "It's up there."

He's writing a tell-all

Are you still dying to learn more about Joey? Well, you may be in luck. According to TMZ, Joey claims it's time to "clean the slate," and he plans to do so via a tell-all memoir titled Closure.

"Everyone thinks they know [the story] but they really don't," he told the tab, claiming his version of events will differ from those recounted in his wife's 2009 book. Mary Jo's story was an "angry account of an ex-wife who pieced together her own vision of why things happened. [She] had no knowledge of my life away from home," he said.

Joey said Fisher may have a tough time reading his account, but noted, "My book is closure for everyone... It's time." 

At the time of this writing, said book has not materialized.