Exclusive: Mary Jo Buttafuoco Speaks Out About Ex-Husband Joey, the 'Sociopath'

Seventeen years later, Mary Jo Buttafuoco writes about her recovery.

ByABC News via logo
July 27, 2009, 6:46 AM

July 27, 2009 — -- Seventeen years after she was shot in the face by her then husband's teenage lover, Mary Jo Buttafuoco called her ex-husband Joey Buttafuoco a "sociopath and a liar."

"I believed him when he said he had nothing to do with her [shooter Amy Fisher]," Mary Jo told "Good Morning America" today in an exclusive interview. "He was a very good sociopath and a liar. ...When I thought about it and looked it up on the Internet, and looked at sociopathic tendencies ... I said 'Oh my God.'" Joey filled all the criteria, she said.

In May 1992, Mary Jo Buttafuoco answered her front door at her Long Island home to see 16-year-old Amy Fisher point a gun at her face and fire. Fisher had been having an affair with Mary Jo's husband, Joey, who was more than twice Fisher's age.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco miraculously survived the close range shot but struggled for years as a national spotlight was thrust on the near-fatal love triangle she didn't even know existed until the day she was shot. Fisher, dubbed the "Long Island Lolita," was sentenced to seven years in prison and Buttafuoco's husband, Joey, got four months for statutory rape. The ordeal was made into three made-for-TV movies.

But it's Joey whom Buttafuoco takes aim at in her new book, "Getting It Through My Thick Skull." The title, she said, came from the way her mother always referred to her "thick skull" when citing her stubborn nature, and a joke she made in the hospital about how her thick skull finally served a good purpose.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco said in the book that the realization that Joey is a sociopath was "life-changing."

"I stood steadfast next to this man, ferociously defending him for years after the infamous shooting by Amy Fisher turned our last name into a worldwide punch line," Mary Jo wrote in the book. "This same man is also the walking, talking dictionary definition of a clinical sociopath."

A sociopath is descibed as someone with an antisocial personality disorder that brings someone into conflict with society and is often amoral and unethical.

In a statement, Joey Buttafuoco said he would prefer to be diagnosed as a sociopath by a doctor, rather than his ex-wife and felt "victimized" by the accusation.

As to why she stayed with Joey until 2003 when the couple finally divorced, Mary Jo Buttafuoco said it was a combination of things.

"It's never one easy thing. Life is not like that," she said. Mary Jo talked about her Irish-Catholic background that she said discourages divorce and how she stayed around to help her children survive the media frenzy the story attracted.