John Bobbitt on his relationship with Lorena leading up to knife attack: Part 1

John met Lorena, an immigrant from Venezuela, at a Marine Corps ball. After they got married, their relationship started to unravel.
10:34 | 01/05/19

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Transcript for John Bobbitt on his relationship with Lorena leading up to knife attack: Part 1
I pick up the knife and I went back to the bedroom. I took the sheets off. And I cut him. In her left hand she has the penis in her right hand she has the knife. One of the most talked-about stories of the year. The case has struck a nerve. The sorid details of a marriage gone berserk. Reporter: The 24-year-old manicurist from Venezuela is accused of severing the penis of her husband while he was sleeping. From the moment anyone heard about this story it was, what? Because it's mythic. It's been 25 years. But even today I imagine if you walk into a store, you hand somebody your credit card, you say your name, you get a reaction? Yeah, they're shocked or startled or, wow, you're the guy? You're that guy? Yeah. Reporter: John was a marine. Lorena a recent immigrant from Venezuela besotted with the American dream. They met at a Marine Corps ball. Tell me what you thought when you first saw Lorena. Saw her over there, looks shy and innocent. I went over and asked her to dance. Here's my number. He was a very nice guy. We started dating. That's how I really fell in love with him. They talked about getting married but that marriage got rushed when her green card or Visa or whatever was running out. I never really expected to have a perfect marriage. But I knew there's things that if you -- you know, you can compromise and you cope. 1991, John gets discharged from the Marine Corps. So he is kind of without a steady paycheck. And he scraps and he tries. Lorena is the main breadwinner. What was Lorena doing for a living? She was working as a nanny for Janet. Janet, you know -- working for her at the beauty salon doing nails. Janet vesuti was a businesswoman who owned the nail cuttery. Janet was a little bit of a mother figure at that point. Lorena oftentimes seemed to have cried on Janet's shoulder. Janet seems to have tried to protect her. She said she loved him and she wanted her marriage to work. And she was going to do anything to try to make her marriage work. What would you be fighting about? TV, the radio, stupid stuff. We were young. Just fight over things we shouldn't have been fighting over. She was stubborn, she was selfish, she wanted things her way. They were a couple who were tempestuous, in their loves, tempestuous in their jealousies, tempestuous in their fights. How soon did you feel he began getting beyond speaking, becoming physically abusive to you? Um -- like a month after -- One month? Yes. Into the marriage? Yes. She got upset if anybody talked to me. Some girl. I look in a girl's direction, she would get mad. She punched you? Yes. Lorena has said that you were physically abusive to her. Yeah, well, turn things around. Like I say, she was physically abusive to me. She never went to the hospital, never had anything seriously wrong with her at all. A lot of turmoil. It wasn't like we were out to kill each other. You never fought back? Subdue her, restrain her. Not to hit her or anything. He forced me into sex. He told me that he was -- that that kind of sexual sex, forced sex, excited him. And I would just cry. Like so many of the ac cases that fly back and forth between John and Lorena, this one is hard to reconcile. John denies he was ever excited by violent sex. When Lorena talks about her marriage with John, it's a nightmare from beginning to end. John maintains that he never hit her. But he admits that he might have kind of pushed her a little, or when he was restraining her he might have been rough. What's your definition of spousal abuse? It can be anything. Punching a hole in the wall, verbal abuse, calling somebody a slut, whore, tramp -- Did you do any of those things? Moments of anger did you push her, shove her? Yeah, we fought. But that's not spousal abuse? I think that's fighting with each other. Did it leave marks when you restrained her? Of course. I mean, I may have marks on me but I didn't flaunt them. In the course of your marriage did you become pregnant by John? Yes, I did. I was very excited because -- I mean, I wanted to have a child. What did he say? Do you remember? He said that I -- I would not be able to -- to raise a child. For some reason. I said, I think I will be a wonderful mother. Did you have the abortion for him? Yes. You felt you would lose him without it? I didn't want to have a child without a father. You weren't ready anyways. I suggested, yeah, we should wait. She wasn't happy about it. But, you know. What can you do? She never recovered from the trauma of an abortion that she wasn't completely on board for. And she carried the terrible trauma for her, the guilt, right up into the moment that she picked up that knife. How often did you say "No" to his sexual advances? Did he physically and sexually abuse you? It was frequently. It was every time he would hit me. He would just try to force me into the sex again. I would wake up shaking and scared. And I would have nightmares. The tensions are building and building and building in this marriage. John I think in the week prior said, look, this is not working out, so I'm going to get a divorce. It hit her like a ton of bricks. She was crying, begging, said she didn't believe in divorce. The day before the incident takes place, a friend of John's, Robert Johnston, from Buffalo, comes and stays with the couple. Me and Robby said, well, since you're here, let's go out and have some fun. Let's go and hang out and show you around D.C. We went out, had drinks. The last thing she did that night, she had some literature on rape that she had read that night and put it on the night stand. And gone to sleep. And he comes in loaded to the gills with alcohol, and he decides to crawl in bed, help himself. Because, you know, that's my wife. Did you spel? To Lorena? Before you went to sleep? No. I remember her trying to, you know, play with me, you know. But I was sleeping, exhausted. I couldn't respond to her advances. Either sexually or verbally. He jumped on top of me. And he -- he started to -- grabbing my arms really tight like before he always do. And so I said, I don't want to have sex. And I was trying to push him but I couldn't. He forced me into it. I heard my underwear was ripping off. And I was just fighting it. It feels like I was fighting everything. So you say she was trying to have sex with you, and you were too tired? Right. That's a pretty big swing from her saying you forcibly tore off her underwear and raped her. Yeah. Everything was done in my sleep. Sexual advances, the talking, all in a deep sleep. You say you didn't rape her? No, never raped anybody in my life. Is it possible that you were trying -- No, no idea -- That you were trying to have second -- She put my penis off, didn't know what transpired there. He assaults her and she's just laying there thinking, not again. And she went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. She saw the knife. It was so many things coming into my mind. I don't know how to describe. Things like, from the very first, he hit me. Things about the abortion. You know, so many things. When he was torturing me, when he was beating me up, when he forced sex with me, everything. It just came so fast. I pick up the knife and I went back to the bedroom. I took the sheets off. I cut him. When I sprung up and I was bleeding, I was applying pressure. Immediately I thought it was something out of a horror movie. It was a nightmare but it was real. Turned into reality. Horrified, terrified. I was going to die. That was it, going to die. She flees the apartment. In her left hand she has the penis. In her right hand she has the knife. And drives off into the night. Stay with us. With moderate to severe Crohn's disease,

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

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