|Born||Joseph A. Buttafuoco
March 11, 1956
Massapequa, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Auto body shop owner|
Joseph A. "Joey" Buttafuoco (born March 11, 1956) is an auto body shop owner from Long Island. He is best known for having had an affair with Amy Fisher. Fisher, age 16 at the time, subsequently shot Buttafuoco's wife, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, in the face. Popular news coverage titled Fisher the "Long Island Lolita." Buttafuoco subsequently pled guilty to one count of statutory rape and served four months in jail.
On May 19, 1992, Amy Fisher shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the right side of the face. Fisher had come to the Buttafuoco house to confront Mary Jo Buttafuoco about Joey Buttafuoco, with whom she had been having an affair since July 1991 after Fisher brought her vehicle to Buttafuoco's auto body shop in Baldwin, Nassau County. When Mary Jo answered the door, Fisher—posing as her own (fictitious) sister Ann Marie—offered as proof of the affair a T-shirt that Joey had given her, with the logo of his auto body shop on it. The front porch confrontation escalated, and when Mary Jo demanded that Fisher leave and turned to go into the house and call Joey, Fisher shot her in the face with a .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol. Once Mary Jo regained consciousness, she identified Fisher as her assailant.
The investigation of the shooting and the subsequent court cases involved a series of conflicting claims, and received significant news coverage in both mainstream news outlets and tabloids. Buttafuoco's lawyer maintained that Buttafuoco was never involved with Fisher and Fisher had invented the affair, while Fisher's lawyer portrayed Fisher as a victim whom Buttafuoco manipulated into the shooting.
After Fisher's assault conviction, Buttafuoco was indicted on 19 counts of statutory rape, sodomy, and endangering the welfare of a child. He initially pled not guilty. He later changed his plea to guilty, admitting he had sex with Fisher when she was 16 and that he had known her age at the time. He was sentenced to six months' jail time, and was released after serving four months and nine days of the sentence.
Buttafuoco has been charged with crimes on several occasions since the 1992 shooting incident.
- In 1995, he pled no contest to a solicitation of prostitution charge and was fined and placed on probation for two years.
- In 2004, he was sentenced to a year in jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to auto insurance fraud. As part of the sentence, he is prohibited from working in the auto body industry in California for the rest of his life.
- In August 2005, he was charged with illegal possession of ammunition. As a convicted felon, he is legally not permitted to own ammunition. Probation officers found the ammunition during a search of his home. He pled no contest and began serving his sentence on January 8, 2007. He was released on April 28, 2007.
The significant coverage of the shooting incident made Buttafuoco a minor celebrity. During Fisher's trial, Buttafuoco appeared frequently on mainstream and tabloid news programs and talk shows, and gave multiple interviews to all forms of media. David Letterman, in his last year of hosting Late Night with David Letterman, discussed the incident so often that Buttafuoco's name was a recurring punchline, while Saturday Night Live parodied the case in multiple sketches.
In 2002, Buttafuoco participated in the Fox Network's Celebrity Boxing, originally slated to oppose John Wayne Bobbitt, who dropped out due to being arrested for domestic abuse. Bobbitt was replaced by female pro wrestler Joanie "Chyna" Laurer. Buttafuoco, despite being booed, won the fight in a majority decision (29–28, 29–27, 28–28).
In 2006, he and Amy Fisher were reunited at the Lingerie Bowl for the coin toss. In a story reported in the New York Post, reality show producer David Krieff suggested that Buttafuoco and Fisher were currently "dating" again, although this was not supported by any direct statements from either Buttafuoco or Fisher. On May 23, 2007, Mary Jo Buttafuocco appeared on CNN's Larry King Live program to discuss the recent reunion of her ex-husband and the former "Long Island Lolita." At the time, Buttafuoco's second wife, Evanka, had recently filed for divorce, but withdrew her divorce petition on June 22, 2007.
Buttafuoco appeared on the Judge Jeanine Pirro show on March 5, 2009. He sued a woman who had attempted to pay for $4,700 in repairs to her Corvette in sexual favors rather than money. Buttafuoco won the case.[episode needed]
In 2012, Buttafuoco appeared on Fox News, on a show entitled "Justice with Judge Jeanine". Buttafuoco was commenting on a murder-for-hire plot.[episode needed]
Buttafuoco appeared on Judge Alex on November 1, 2012. He sued his friend Rob Spallone's company over a dispute regarding the rental of a frozen ice truck for Buttafuoco's nephew's birthday party. Buttafuoco won the case and Spallone was ordered to pay $4,400 in damages.[episode needed]
TV and film career
Buttafuoco made his television debut as an "Under-Five" contract on As the World Turns in the late 1980s. He and actor Sean Patrick Flannery played henchmen who had to rough up the Frank Runyeon character played by actor Steve Andropoulos during a fight scene.[episode needed]
Buttafuoco made his film debut as a cab driver in Cul-de-Sac (video title: Better Than Ever). He subsequently appeared in The Underground Comedy Movie, Mafia Movie Madness, Skin Walker, Finding Forrester and Operation Repo: The Movie.
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- Lorraine Delia Kenny, Daughters of Suburbia: Growing Up White, Middle Class, and Female (Rutgers University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8135-2853-4)
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