How John and Lorena Bobbitt met: Part 1

Long before they became famous, John Bobbitt, then a U.S. Marine, was at a Marine Corps officers' ball when he met Lorena Gallo, who had emigrated from Venezuela to the U.S. on a student visa.
9:14 | 01/05/19

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Transcript for How John and Lorena Bobbitt met: Part 1
John, are you okay to do the interview without your glasses? Yeah. Can I read the questions first? What? Could I read the questions first? No, you can't read the questions first! Why? Cause that's not how it works. Work out well more me at all. It's all a matter of what you believe. You know, I want people to understand the story, the whole story. Yep. And this is what we're going to do. The truth to the whole story. The whole story was a coverup. The whole court case. Lorena getting off on her charge was a big cover up. Okay. Go for it. We'll start where you want to start. What was a coverup? ?????? It's one of the most talked about stories of the year. The case has struck a nerve. The sordid details of a marriage gone berserk. The bobbitts could only get more attention if they were starring in a TV movie. This case won't go away. It continues to -- to be in the public's mind. It really took the world by storm. The 24-year-old manicurist from Venezuela is accused of severing the penis of her husband, 26-year-old John Bobbitt, while he was sleeping. From the moment anyone heard about this story, it was "What?!" Because it's mythic. Lorena's act was a fundamental attack on a man's manhood. It caught everyone's attention. And the first thing everyone wanted to know was why? What drove her to it? Describing what happened and what people have heard are two different things. Her defense that she came out with was that he had raped and abused her. I feel humiliated. How much more do I have to put up with this? That seems to be the simplest of narratives. The call, she cut off his penis, it took on a life of it own. It's a story that fascinated America. Do you believe him or do you believe her? What about when he was beating her up and raping her? No one cared then. I do think men and women see this very differently. Many women see it as a woman abused to such a degree that she struck out at the area that was doing her the most harm. The symbolic power of that act remains to this day frightening. And alive. And real. It's kind of the ultimate violence in the battle of the sexes that goes on every single day. Sure, there was a battle of the sexes going on then. As there is now. We're in the middle of me too. Time's up. When is this going to end? What's changed? It's the story making headlines in every hometown newspaper. Couldn't believe it. Never heard of it before. And then, of course, the fact that Lorena threw it out a window. I always tell my friends, make sure you're sleeping on your belly if you get in an argument with your wife. It's not bad thing to do. The Bobbitt case flooded with low culture. It disarmed high culture. You'll find references in the Philip Roth novels. In eminem lyrics. You know, man, it could be worse. A woman could cut off your penis while you're sleeping and toss it out the window of a moving car. There's always that. You could almost put the story in the midst of time in the middle of book ends. The book ends being the Amy fisher/joey bu trk tafuoco story. And six months later after the Bobbitt story was O.J. And the white bronco. Right in the middle was Lorena and John. It's been 25 years. Even today, I imagine, if you walk into a store, hand somebody your credit card, you say your name. You get a reaction? I gate shocked or startled or wow. You're the guy? You're the guy? Yeah. Let's go back to the beginning. Tell me where you grew up. Niagara falls, New York. Born and raised there. When I was 3, I was taken away from my mother. His mother was a drug addict, living on the street and not capable of taking care of him. His father pretty much disappeared, didn't really know his father. And he and his two brothers were taken in by their aunt and uncle who already had four boys. My mother couldn't take care of us three, she had a mental breakdown. I mean, she was a nice lady. She tried to take care of all three of us, but she couldn't. My name is Brett Biro and I'm John Wayne Bobbitt's brother. John is actually my cousin, but my parents took him in at a young age. So if you were to ask me again, who is yon? John is my brother. That's the way we were raised. Your uncle and your aunt took you in. How would you describe your childhood? Big family. A lot of get-togethers. We went to church every Sunday. Was there love in your home? Yeah, a Lotta love. Yeah. Lotta fightin'. But I was always the one to break it up. You know? I was the peacemaker. What made you decide to want to become a marine? My friends joined the Marines. And I said, oh, I'll join. Something I wanted to do. And it was at a singles dance that you met Lorena? Yeah. Marine Corps ball. Fancy uniforms and it was at Marine Corps officers' club. Lorena Bobbitt is born in Ecuador. She is raised in Venezuela. She becomes besotted with America, the America you see on kind of television and our movies. I remember she said she watched "The flintstones" in Venezuela and even the flintstones had a microwave and they were just middle class people. And that represented something to her. In an exclusive interview with Tom jarriel, Lorena Bobbitt, the woman who did the unthinkable, gives some answers. I always have this sensation that to come to America is just like a big opportunity. That this is gonna be the beginning of something. She wants to come to this country, and she does on a student Visa. She enrolls in a community college. Lorena always talked about her American dream. And John, when you saw him in those days, in his uniform and stuff, he fit the profile of the good-looking marine. Lorena meets John at a dance. The way Lorena tells the story, there's tremendous physical chemistry. She finds him very handsome. He was a very nice guy. And we started dating. And that's how I really fell in love with him. She was swept off her feet. Tell me what you thought when you first saw Lorena. I was there with a friend and saw her over there. And she looks -- you know, shy and innocent. And I went over there and asked her to dance. So then -- she can bare -- she can bare -- barely speak English. So I couldn't understand what she was saying at the time. So -- I go, here's my number. Lorena said he was an absolute gentleman. There was no indication of any violence or aggressive behavior toward her while they were courting. What was your dream at that point? At that point, it was more like, have a house, like a -- you know, it doesn't have to be big or something. Just have a little -- and have children and, of course, have a husband. They talked about getting married, but that marriage got rushed when her green card or Visa or whatever was running out. He tells me that Lorena proposed to him, and that it was in a restaurant, her mother was present, she was crying. They were suggesting that we get married because her Visa was expiring. So this was a marriage of -- Convenience. Convenience. Right. And not one of love? Did you love her? Well, I thought I did. Lena presented kind of the emistrys great. It's whirlwind. It's fast. And Jo proposes to her. I was pressured, I guess. So -- had to bite the bullet, I guess. Get married. Both John and Lorena agree that the marriage went into the toilet fast. He was like different after we got married. Lorena has said that you were physically abusive to her. She said that John essentially became a monster after he said -- I do.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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