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20/20

Amy Fisher & Joey Buttafuoco: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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New York Department of Corrections/Getty

Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco

Joey Buttafuoco had a near-fatal attraction to Amy Fisher, who was only 16 years old when he met her at his Long Island auto repair shop. Less than two years later, the teen shot his wife, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, in the head.

All three members of the love triangle have had time in the spotlight because of the scandal that made tabloid headlines and appeared on three network TV movies. For a time, Fisher claimed she and Buttafuoco had rekindled their relationship. She later told Steppin’ Up Magazine that was only a publicity stunt.

Both Joey Buttafuoco and Amy Fisher served time behind bars. Fisher served about seven years in prison for her assassination attempt on Mary Jo Buttafuoco. Joey Buttafuoco spent six months in jail for statutory sexual assault of Fisher. He has been in trouble with the law multiple times since then, including a case that ended his career in auto body work.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Amy Fisher & Joey Buttafuoco Met When her Parents Brought their Car to his Auto Repair Shop

Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco met when her parents took their car to his auto repair shop, The Complete Auto Body Repair Shop in Bellmore. They met about 1 1/2 years before Fisher shot Buttafuoco’s wife in the face in the doorway of their Long Island home May 19, 1992. They started the affair soon after meeting, according to a May 23, 1992 article in the New York Post.

“The police said the romance started soon thereafter when Fisher was 16 years old,” the article said. “[Police Sgt. Daniel] Severin would give no details of the couple’s affair, but he said the shooting was apparently the result of an attempt by Joseph Buttafuoco to break off the relationship. ‘The young lady would have no part of ending the romance. For her, it was a fatal attraction,’ Severin said.”

It was in that article that Fisher would first be called “The Long Island Lolita” in a bold headline that stretched across the page.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco suffered a severed carotid artery in the shooting. After nine hours in surgery, she was on a respirator for two days.

“Sgt. Daniel Severin of the Nassau County homicide squad said police had no evidence and few clues to the shooting until Mary Jo Buttafuoco made what doctors at Nassau County Medical Center termed a ‘miraculous’ recovery and gave police a description of her assailant,” the 1992 article said.

“When detectives reported the information to her husband, Joseph, he broke down and told them of the affair and where they could find his young lover,” the article said. “She was pulled over in her car at 6 p.m. Thursday [May 22, 1992] on Merrick Road, a short distance from her home.”


2. Amy Fisher Initially Claimed Joey Buttafuoco Told her to Kill His Wife

Amy Fisher’s attorney, Eric Naiburg, claimed in court that Joey Buttafuoco was the one who orchestrated the shooting. He claimed Buttafuoco told the teen to kill his wife. Buttafuoco’s attorney claimed his client never even had a relationship with Fisher, and that the teen invented the affair, according to a September 27, 1992 article in The New York Times.

Years later at a parole hearing, Fisher took full responsibility for the shooting.

“I’d like to say something to Mary Jo,” Fisher said in court, according to The New York Times. “What happened to you was not your husband’s fault, not your fault, not my father’s fault and not Eric Naiburg’s fault. It was my fault, and I have spent the last seven years trying to figure it out.”

At that time, Fisher had spent about seven years in prison. She had been sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison for first-degree assault. She was released shortly after the hearing.


3. Joey Buttafuoco Pleaded Guilty to Statutory Rape & Served 6 Months in Jail

Amy Fisher was sentenced to serve 5 to 15 years in prison in the case. She pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. She was released in 1999 when she was 24 years old. She served about seven years in prison, with her time served at Albion Correctional Facility in upstate New York. At her parole hearing in 1999, Suffolk County District Attorney Fred Klein noted Fisher was also a victim in the case, The New York Times reported.

“Mr. Klein said several factors were taken into consideration, including the fact that ‘Mr. Buttafuoco raped Amy when she was 16 years old,’” the article said.

Buttafuoco has repeatedly denied that he ever even had a relationship with Fisher. In an interview with The New York Times about his divorce from Mary Jo Buttafuoco in 2003, he claimed he only pleaded guilty because “he had run out of money and wanted to put the case behind him.”

“She was never a girlfriend, never a lover,” he told the newspaper. “The prosecutors spent so much time and money coming after me they had to get a conviction.”

At the time of his court proceedings for statutory sexual assault, he said he had a problem with lust, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Sometimes lust takes me over,” he told a reporter. “It’s very painful,”


4. Amy Fisher Said in Court the Shooting Was Not Joey Buttafuoco’s Fault

At a parole hearing in 1999, Amy Fisher took full responsibility for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco.

“I’d like to say something to Mary Jo,” Fisher said in court, according to a 1999 article from The New York Times. “What happened to you was not your husband’s fault, not your fault, not my father’s fault and not Eric Naiburg’s fault. It was my fault, and I have spent the last seven years trying to figure it out.”

Mary Jo Buttafuoco said at the same hearing Fisher’s father, Elliot Fisher, abused his daughter beginning when she was 3 years old. Elliot Fisher denied the allegations, according to The New York Times. Mary Jo Buttafuoco had been writing letters to Fisher and her mom, Roseann Fisher, for about two years leading up to the parole hearing. Eric Naiburg was Fisher’s attorney when she was first charged in the case in 1992. Fisher claimed he did not represent her fairly, promising her a sentence of 3 1/2 years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea. She further claimed Naiburg had a sexual relationship with her.

When The New York Times asked Naiburg for comment in 1999, he responded, “I’m very happy for Ms. Fisher. Obviously the work I did on her behalf has borne fruit. If Mary Jo can forgive Amy for shooting her, and Joey for inspiring the shooting, I too can be forgiving.”


5. Amy Fisher Claimed she and Joey Buttafuoco Had Sex 17 Years After the Shooting

In a 2015 interview with Steppin’ Out Magazine, Fisher admitted she and Joey Buttafuoco were not really dating, a claim that was being made to media at the time. She then went on to claim she and Joey Buttafuoco had recently had sex.

“But having sex with Joey wasn’t that great 17 years later. I was like, ‘Ewwwww.’ It wasn’t good at all,” she said. “When he was the older man 17 years ago, he was just 33 years old. But now he’s 50 … He didn’t take care of himself at all. He’s got man boobs. So I quickly got sick of having sex with him. Our recent fling only lasted for a week.”

In the same interview, she admitted she lied when she said Buttafuoco was her new boyfriend. She did it, she said, to get a reality show and to “p*** Mary Jo off,” the article said. “I know how to use the TV shows. They want ratings. It’s all a business, and they made millions off of me.”

READ NEXT: Amy Fisher Today: Where Is She Now in 2019?


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